Costa Rica: Examples of How to be Like Greece

Legislator Otto Guevara
Legislator Otto Guevara

(QCOSTARICA) Information about salaries of officials at the state run telecoms company have been released, which include the more than ¢2 million colones (US$4,000) a month paid to a chauffeur.

An article in reports that “… legislator Otto Guevara unveiled the list of salaries of 22,000 officials working in the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) and Radiografica Costarricense (RACSA) and Compañia Nacional de Fuerza y Luz (CNFL) – the latter two susidiaries of ICE – which included details of a light vehicle chauffer earning ¢2,132,854 a month. It also highlighted the ¢854,000 colones paid to a floral arranger and ¢6 million colones ( a month received by a public accountant and auditor, while a human resources assistant earns ¢3,372,536. ”

Added to these monthly stipends are other benefits such as “… annuities of 3.56%, 30 days of vacation, 24 year severance and bonuses for redundancy, zoning, and sick leave.”

Data released by the legislator confirmed what is common knowledge in Costa Rica: wages paid by the state are double those paid by the private sector for the same job profiles.

This economically unsound policy feeds the predilection of Costa Rican university students, who “dream of being public servants” , because in addition to privileged wages, they enjoy job security practically for life.

On top of this the Costa Rican Electricity Institute is in the public pillory over disclosed information relating to its financial statements for the previous financial period, which include losses of tens of millions of dollars in its own operations and those of its subsidiaries, losses of hundreds of thousands of cell phone customers, as well as details of other ruinous business deals.

Its enough to see the package of austerity measures that Greece has to take on in order to get over the catastrophic crisis that it finds itself in, as a warning of the similarities with the route being taken by Costa Rica.

Source:, with notes from and editing by the Q!