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The government of Panama has issued a decree which, once again, moves the upcoming, Labour Day, non-working public holiday of Panama from Sunday, May 1st, 2016, to Monday, May 2, 2016.
As per the aforementioned Decreto Ejecutivo, the declaration of Monday, May 2, 2016, as a non-working public holiday throughout Panama ("que se celebra el Día del Trabajador en la República de Panamá, y que se dispone el cierre de las oficinas públicas y privadas en todo el territorio nacional"), was made to create a long weekend and thus stimulate internal tourism.
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, a few years ago (2013-04-18 and 2012-04-27), 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). Similarly, a move of the May 1st annual Panam public holiday was rejected for the past 2 years (2015-04-27 and 2014-04-29).
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