Posted by: Idioma Extra | November 1, 2010

Monday´s News

Caldera Was An “Experiment” Says Former MOPT Minister


Karla González, the former ministra de Obras Públicas y Transportes, said the charging of the tolls on the San José – Caldera should have stopped in May, citing a clause in the concession contract that was signed by the Arias administration with the Spanish consortium, Autopistas del Sol. The former minister is of the opinion that if the road does not work, the tolls should not be charged.

González is perhaps the most definitive voice of what really happened in the concession contract process, in its award and the construction of the road, for it was during her tenure as minister of the MOPT that the “experiment”, as she calls it, was made.

“Worldwide there are concessions. The country had to take that step and Caldera was like the experiment, from it the country must improve”, explained González.

The former minister added that when she took over the portfolio (in 2006) the MOPT was a mess, “almost paralyzed”, she is being quoted. González added that the country had to start investing in infrastructure, for that is what funds are for.

During her tenure of almost four years at the MOPT, stepping down with the fall of the Turrucares Bridge that claimed five lives, the government approved a us$850 million dollar loan from the Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo (BID) near the end of its term.

“What is happening with this money? If only we had had that money available”, said González.

The legislative commission looking into the Caldera situation has yet to decide if they will call on González to testify.

González said she welcomes and is awaiting the call for she has a lot to say and more important to clear things, like the problems with the hiring of the IMNSA to oversee the project and their failure from almost the beginning.

“We had the luck to prepare the contracts and hire the supervisor for the work and it was when we started that we realized they (Imnsa) were not the most adequate for the job”, said the former minister.

Her remarks are aimed at the Imnsa president testimony before the commission, blaming the Arias government, especially former president Oscar Arias and former minister González, for the problems of the road.

Word of the Day

Pronunciation: \kən-ˈsȯr-sh(ē-)əm, -ˈsȯr-tē-əm\
Origin: Latin, fellowship, from consort-, consors
First Known Use: 1829
an agreement, combination, or group (as of companies) formed to undertake an enterprise beyond the resources of any one member
2: associationsociety
3: the legal right of one spouse to the company, affection, and assistance of and to sexual relations with the other

More Vocabulary

Oversee: v. survey, watch
Portfolio: n.
[from the use of such a case to carry documents of state]: the office and functions of a minister of state or member of a cabinet
Tenure: n.
the act, right, manner, or term of holding something (as a landed property, a position, or an office)
Testify: v
.  to make a solemn declaration under oath for the purpose of establishing a fact (as in a court)
Toll: n.
a tax or fee paid for some liberty or privilege (as of passing over a highway or bridge)

Love those Phrasal Verbs!

Call on: to ask; appeal to:

  • The lawyer was called on to represent them.

Step down: to relinquish one’s authority or control; resign:

  • Although he was past retirement age, he refused to step down let his son take over the business.


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