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Nicaragua backtracks, says canal construction to begin this year not in 2015

Nicaragua's government says the construction of the nation's inter-ocean canal will start at the end of this year, contradicting a recent announcement that it would be delayed until 2015.

The president of the canal authority, Manuel Coronel Kautz, said in a statement Monday that all the studies needed to start building the canal are being carried out in a timely manner.

On Saturday, Coronel Kautz told La Prensa newspaper that construction would begin a year later than planned because the waterway's path has yet to be defined.

Nicaraguan legislators in June approved granting Beijing-based telecommunications CEO Wang Jing a concession to build and operate the canal.

Proponents say the project could lift Nicaragua from poverty. Opponents say it's not feasible economic and could damage the environment.