Sunday 10 December 2023

MOPT Minister: “The King of Spain can all, I will not negotiate”

Luis Amador takes a hard line stand on the conditions for extending the Riteve contract

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QCOSTARICA – On July 15, unless there is a breakthrough, the contract the Spanish company, Riteve SyC, has with the government of Costa Rica to provide vehicular inspections will come to an end.

If there is no extension, after 20 years, the vehicular inspection company will have to pack its bags unless it meets one condition demanded by the Minister of Public Works and Transport (MOPT), Luis Amador, the Spanish company signs a donation of its assets.

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Amador has taken a hard line stand, that if Riteve does not donate (turn over) to the State its stations, at 4:00 pm on July 15, Riteve can no longer operate in Costa Rica.

Despite the proximity of the date, there is still no clarity about the future of the service.

“I am not going to sit down to negotiate. The King of Spain can call, the Spanish ambassador can call, whoever wants can call. I will not sit down to negotiate until that donation is signed because we have all already paid for those lands and for all those facilities. After that, we will sit down to negotiate,” Amador said.

On repeated occasions, Riteve has assured that it will transfer the assets to the State, since this is established in the original ten-year contract and extended for another ten years.

The date for that signature has been agreed, confirmed Jennifer Hidalgo, deputy manager of Communication of Riteve.

“As we have indicated, we have been totally willing to collaborate and we have firmly maintained the donation of land, facilities and equipment, as indicated in the contract. In fact, days ago, the MOPT summoned us, through an official letter, to on July 15 at 4 pm before the State Notary to sign and we confirmed our presence.

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“If the minister requires any modification to what he has already requested, we are fully willing to attend to it,” concluded Hidalgo.

However, this Friday, was emphatic that until the donation of all the stations, equipment, facilities and land agreement is signed “as soon as possible and to take effect on July 15, until that moment I am not going to sit down to negotiate.”

Likewise, Amador assured that in case of not reaching an agreement with Riteve, there are other alternatives.

Among the alternatives is a bill promoted by PLN legislator Gilberth Jiménez to move the service to the hands of a cooperative, or sign a new contract with one of the companies that have already shown an interest.

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“There are no shortages”, the Minister said, adding that the other companies are from Mexico, Panama, Portugal, and Spain.

Months ago, since the middle of 2021, the Comptroller’s Office had been warning the previous government about the expiration and the impossibility of granting more time to the company.

In April, the previous Administration submitted a request for an extension to the Comptroller’s Office, which request was rejected, as it lacked a series of technical information, including details on the model to follow, the rate mechanism and the terms of the new tender.



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