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Queues lengthen at the Panama Canal

Panama City: This month has seen as many as 93 ships waiting at one time to transit the beleagured Panama Canal, a conference in Singapore was told today. One ship operator even paid US$230,000 to get a transit slot the following day. And the situation is likely to get worse with essential maintenance on the canal scheduled for November and December. These visibly long queues will, no doubt, be used as further compelling argument by the ruling party in trhe country in the run up to December's national referendum on the proposed $5.25bn canal expansion programme.  [26/09/06]

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