Panama to Regulate Several Food Item Prices

Officials in Panama said on Monday it would regulate the price of 72 food items after weeks of angry protests and street blockades over the rising cost of living.

“With the regulation of the 72 products, the cost of the basic food basket would decrease by 30%, a savings of more than $80,” President Laurentino Cortizo said

According to reports, negotiations between the government and powerful unions, mediated by the Catholic Church, finally ended with an agreement. 

Earlier, government officials established price controls on a dozen food items and austerity measures for public institutions, including 10% of government workers. 

But unions said they wanted more, including greater transparency, curbs on public spending, and more investments in health and education. 

In response, the government lowered gasoline and diesel prices from $5.20 per gallon to $3.95 per gallon, then again to $3.25. 

Meanwhile, former shadow chancellor John McDonnell called for the United Kingdom to bring in similar controls to ease the impact of soaring inflation on workers. 

McDonnell said a radical response is needed and called for strict price controls on fuel and food basics. 

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