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Panama hotel removes Trump branding after court battle

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A worker changes the Trump Ocean Club Hotel's sign in Panama City, Panama, 5 March 2018Image copyright
AFP

Image caption

The Trump name was removed from the hotel hours after the court ruling

The majority owner of a luxury hotel in Panama City has regained control of the building after a legal battle with its management – the Trump Organization.

Within hours of the verdict from a Panamanian court, hotel staff removed the Trump name from its main entrance.

Cypriot businessman Orestes Fintiklis has been fighting to cancel the contract with the Trump Organization, which he blames for a fall in profits.

The Trump Organization said it had appealed against the decision.

Mr Fintiklis, majority owner of the Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower, hailed the court’s decision, saying: “Panama has made us proud.

“Today, this dispute has been settled by the judges and the authorities of this country.”

The standoff between Miami-based Mr Fintiklis and the management team at the hotel had lasted more than a week.

On Monday, police and a court official enforced the owner’s claim to the hotel as Trump Organization executives and security staff abandoned the building.

Hotel employees then pried the Trump logo from the entrance.

Image copyright
AFP

Image caption

The new-look hotel sign was a hit with some tourists

Tourists later gathered at the spot to have their pictures taken.

The legal battle began last month when Mr Fintiklis said he intended to force the Trump Organization out before its management contract was up, and to rebrand the hotel.

According to lawsuits filed in the US, he said the number of guests at the hotel was falling.

For its part, the Trump Organization said Mr Fintiklis was breaching his contractual commitments.

“Trump Hotels remains fully confident that it will not only prevail, but recover all of its damages, costs and attorneys’ fees, including those… arising from today’s events,” the Trump Organization said in a statement.

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