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The government of Panama, through its Secretaría de Prensa de Estado, has announced that once again the upcoming, Labour Day, non-working public holiday, had been moved, this year from Wednesday, May 1st, 2013, to Monday, April 29, 2013.
As per the aforementioned Decreto Ejecutivo No. 233 de 18 de abril de 2013, signed by Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli and the Panamanian Minister of the Interior Jorge Ricardo Fábrega, the declaration of Monday, April 29, 2013, as a non-working public holiday throughout Panama ("ordenó el cierre de las oficinas públicas y privadas a nivel nacional"), was made to create a long weekend and thus stimulate internal tourism ("para que... se favorezca el desarrollo del turismo interno a nivel nacional y la convivencia familiar").
The government decision is based on Bill 351 which became the Ley 70 de 28 de diciembre de 2007 (2007-12-30, 2007-11-29, and 2007-11-22) and aims to restore bridge holidays (días puente) by moving the January 9 and November 28 annual non-working public holidays to the nearest Monday, if their set fixed date falls in the middle of the week, and giving the government discretionary power to do the same for other annual non-working public holidays ("potestad del Ejecutivo decretar días puentes sobre las fechas de fiesta o duelo").
However, until last year (2012-04-27), when the government of Panama moved the Labour Day, non-working public holiday to Monday, April 30, 2012, the May 1st, Labour Day public holiday (Día del Trabajador), had never before been moved. In 2008, the idea was ruled-out outright (2008-04-19) and in 2009, after some hesitation (2009-04-21), Panama's President, Martín Torrijos, decided not to move the May 1st public holiday (2009-04-24).
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