• Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Arias Breaks Silence On China Bonds Purchase

September 5, 2008

Faced with mounting pressure from the press and opposition leaders, President Oscar Arias has revealed details on the sale of state bonds to China.

China is buying $150 million in bonds  in 2008 and another $150 million in 2009,Arias announced Friday after keeping the information secret for months. Costa Rica has to pay back the money within 12 years at a low interest rate. Arias refused to specify the rate, saying it could be between zero and 3 percent.

Since Costa Rica forged diplomatic ties with China in June 2007, the Arias administration has come under fire for being tightlipped about deals with the Eastern giant.

Leaders of the opposition Citizen Action Party (PAC) sent a letter to Arias in January and again last month requesting details on the bond purchase. In February, the daily La Nación challenged Arias’ secrecy before the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court (Sala IV), which has yet to rule on the case.

“Nothing is more public, under the Constitution, than public debt to other countries,” PAC leader and former presidential candidate Ottón Solís wrote in a letter to Arias last month. “It would be unfortunate if diplomatic ties with China started out on the wrong foot in terms of ethics and transparency.”

Arias said Chinese authorities at first did not want him to disclose details because China gave Costa Rica a much lower interest rate than it gives to other countries.

The president said he asked China to purchase bonds rather than lend money in order to circumvent the Legislative Assembly, which must approve conventional loans.

–Gillian Gillers

 

You may be interested

Government to discuss pandemic response with private sector
Costa Rica
4 views
Costa Rica
4 views

Government to discuss pandemic response with private sector

The Tico Times - May 8, 2021

Government officials will discuss Costa Rica's pandemic response with representatives of other sectors, in context of new records in hospitalizations…

Costa Rica ends work week with new high in Covid hospitalizations
Costa Rica
44 views
Costa Rica
44 views

Costa Rica ends work week with new high in Covid hospitalizations

The Tico Times - May 8, 2021

There are 1,175 people in Costa Rica hospitalized with Covid-19, a new record, the Health Ministry said in its Friday…

Authorities search for hiker missing in Chirripó NP
Costa Rica
10 views
Costa Rica
10 views

Authorities search for hiker missing in Chirripó NP

Alejandro Zúñiga - May 7, 2021

Update: Authorities located the hiker’s body on Saturday morning. Read more via La Nación. **** Costa Rican authorities are searching for…