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Panama: Minister of the Presidency Resigns

Since July 13 the Panamanian people have asked themselves if it was true that, Demetrio Papadimitriu, Minister of the Presidency and right hand man of president Ricardo Martinelli had resigned from his office. The newspaper La Estrella de Panamá [es] had informed on Friday, July 13, about the minister's resignation:

Es una de esas noticias que cuesta trabajo creer. Demetrio ‘Jimmy’ Papadimitriu se distancia de Ricardo Martinelli.

It's one of those news stories that are hard to believe. Demetrio ‘Jimmy’ Papadimitriu distances himself from Ricardo Martinelli.

Papadimitriu, of Greek descent, had been one of the main authors of Ricardo Martinelli's rise to power and at the same time one of the main ministers during the administration. The news was not assimilated easily and for many it seemed impossible.

The government stirred up the controversy on Sunday, July 15, during the celebration of El Día del Niño (Children's Day) when the president refused to make any statements, as Diario Granma [es] tells us:

Evidentemente el presidente, Ricardo Martinelli, ha dado una orden tajante a todos: no hay nada que informar, dijo en el desfile por el Día del Niño, y se puso a bailar, mientras que su vocero, Luis Eduardo Camacho, repitió: no hay nada que pronunciar.

Evidently the president, Ricardo Martinelli, has given an unequivocal order to everyone: there is nothing to inform, he said in the Día del Niño parade, and started to dance, while his spokesperson, Luis Eduardo Comacho, repeated: there is nothing to announce.

Prensa Latina [es] echoed the president's declarations, who even denied the news of the resignation and blamed the press of being “bochinceros” (an expression used to describe those who like to gossip):

Lo que ha dicho el presidente Martinelli es que todo está marchando normalmente en este momento. El ministro de la Presidencia no está en el despacho, está la viceministra, María Fábrega, que se encarga de toda la papelería, dijo Quijano.

El ministro agregó que no han recibido ninguna renuncia y Martinelli ha sido muy claro, a pesar de que ha habido un medio de comunicación que dio una noticia, pero no es una noticia oficial, afirmó.

What president Martinelli has said is that everything is functioning normally at the moment. The minister of the Presidency is not in the office, the vice-minister, María Fábrega, who is in charge of all the paperwork is there, Quijano said.

The ministry added that they have not received any resignation and Martinelli has been very clear, even though there was a media outlet that gave a news report, that is not the official news, he asserted.

Finally, in the afternoon of July 16 the government made public a letter where the president accepted the resignation of the minister. La Prensa [es] gives an account:

El presidente de la República, Ricardo Martinelli, aceptó la renuncia de Demetrio Papadimitriu, que por tres años se mantuvo en el cargo de ministro de la Presidencia.

En una carta enviada a Papadimitriu, el Presidente agradeció su gestión al frente del Ministerio de la Presidencia así como su participación en proyectos importantes desarrollados en el país.

The president of the Republic, Ricardo Martinelli, accepted the resignation of Demetrio Papadimitriu, who for three years held the office of minister of the Presidency.

In a letter sent to Papadimitriu, the President thanked him for his administration of the Ministry of the Presidency as well as his participation in important projects carried out in the country.

The reactions on Twitter have ranged from condemnation for the denial of the resignation to lament for the departure of a minister who was considered to be competent. The general reaction has inclined itself towards condemnation of the government's deception.

As in the case of Carlos Baquero (@CarlosBaqueroG) [es], who shares on his Twitter account:

 @CarlosBaqueroG: Martinelli si que es mentiroso, yo lo vi diciendo que Papadimitri no habia renunciado y pidiendole a la prensa

@CarlosBaqueroG [es]: Martinelli is a liar, I saw him saying that Papadimitru had not resigned and asking the press

To others like Katriny Muñoz (@KatrinyMunoz) [es] it seems that the press and people are creating drama about the matter:

@KatrinyMunoz: A mi no me interesa si Papadimitri quiere renunciar dos tres o cuatro veces que drama…

@KatrinyMunoz [es]: It doesn't interest me if Papadimitri wants to resign two three or four times. What drama…

José Guerra (@jfrancaco) [es] maintains a similar point of view when he notices with irony how after his resignation Papadimitriu became one of the best ministers:

@jfrancaco: La gente habla paja cuando Papadimitri estaba le daban plomo ahora se fue y lo alaban…carajo quien entiende??? PLOF

@jfrancaco [es]: People talk for the sake of talking. When Papadimitri was here they criticized him; now he's gone and they praise him…who understands it? PLOF

Sandra Icaza (@ihill0663) [es] on the other hand, seems fearful of how this government will be able to continue without the presence of Papadimitriu, whom all of Panamanians had gotten used to seeing as the right hand of the current president.

@ihill0663: Martinelli, sin Papadimitri. ¿Se sentirá como un barco a la deriva?.Observemos como termina el naúfrago.Ojalá se salve y pague lo q debe.

@ihill0663 [es]: Martinelli, without Papadimitri. Might he feel like a boat that is adrift? Let's observe how the shipwreck ends. Hopefully he will be saved and pay what he owes.

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