Latest: Caribbean

Panama Canal row heats up, Spanish gov't holds emergency meeting

Published: Tuesday January 7, 2014 | 10:47 am Comments 0

Spainís Public Works Minister, Ana Pastor, has held an emergency meeting with Panamanian President, Ricardo Martinelli, as part of efforts to resolve a dispute over expansion work at the Panama Canal.

Jamaica is banking on the expansion of the canal due for completion next year, to realise its own Logistics Hub project expected to bring significant investments.

The Spanish government minister travelled to Panama after a building consortium led by a Spanish company announced it would halt work.

The companies say Panama owes them $1.6 billion in added costs and it had given Panama 21 days to make the payment.

Miss Pastor said both sides should abide by the existing contract.

The Panama Canal Authority says work should go ahead, arguing that the cost overruns are due to events that should be expected in such a construction project.

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