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Panama official called Canal expansion a ‘disaster’

Monday, December 20, 2010

Juan Carlos Varela, the vice-president of Panama, called the Panama Canal expansion a “disaster” after a group led by Spain’s Sacyr Vallehermoso won a $3.1 billion contract, a confidential US diplomatic cable said.

The cable, released by WikiLeaks and published in Madrid’s El Pais newspaper, said that Varela expressed concerns that Sacyr is in “deep financial trouble” and may not be able to complete the work.

“The Canal expansion project is a disaster,” the cable cited Varela as saying at a lunch with US Ambassador Barbara Stephenson on Dec. 29, 2009. “In two to three years, it will be obvious this is all a failure.”

Original source: Bloomberg