announces purchase of three supermarket chains
By AM Costa Rica staff
Thursday the transnational company, Walmart, announced the purchase of three supermarket chains: Perimercados, Súper Compro and Saretto.
The company selling this chain of supermarkets is Grupo Empresarial de Supermercados.
This billion-dollar transaction is awaiting the approval of the Commission for the Promotion of Competition and the Ministry of Economy.
"The cooperation between Walmart and Gessa is excellent to better serve the Costa Rican consumer. In this way, Walmart promotes its growth plans in the region," said Cristian Barrientos, vice president of Walmart in Central America.
Once the authorization is received from the authorities, Walmart said it would begin an integration process of the new 52 stores. The new stores have more than 1,300 employees who will also be incorporated into the Walmart team in Costa Rica.
Barrientos emphasized that both chains are original signatories of the Declaration of Good Commercial Practices of Costa Rica and actively encourage the retail industry in this market.
In the country, Walmart also owns the chains of supermarket Mas x Menos, Maxipalí and Palí.
Walmart was founded by Sam Walton in 1962. This year the international corporation is reporting $500.3 billion in revenue and total assets of $77.9 billion.
crisis is increasing migration to Costa Rica
By A.M. Costa Rica staff
A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo
Three months of protests has left more than 350 dead
and more than 1800 injured.
This proposal condemns the violations of human rights in Nicaragua, demands the identification of those responsible for the violence and demands a halt to the Nicaraguan police attacks against the people.
Costa Rica's proposal had 21 votes in favor and only 3 against. those from Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Saint Vincent in the Grenadines Islands.
|Government has reduced luxury pensions
By A.M. Costa Rica
The government announced that it saved ₡6.2 billion colones from January 2017 to June 2018 due to a reduction in payments for so called luxury pensions to 401 persons.
According to the government, the maximum payment for luxury pensions is now ₡2.7 million per month, approximately $4,800 per month.
The only officials who still receive a larger amount on pensions are employees from the National Magisterium and the Judiciary Ministry.
However, people receiving those pensions must now pay a tax on payments that exceed a base amount. As an example, a person with a pension of 5 million colones per month must now pay a tax equivalent to 800,000 colones, about 34 percent of the amount over the base.
Not all the National Magisterium retirees have to pay the luxury pensions tax as there is still a group of 304 people who are exempted by a pension agreement.
President Carlos Alvarado reiterated the commitment to do everything possible to reduce the fiscal deficit.
He added, "in a fiscal situation like the one we are facing, it is not acceptable to defend pensions with such high amounts. We must all contribute to the solution."
There is still much to be done to eliminate abuse in luxury pensions, officials said.
An additional measure is to remove the special exemption enjoyed by 340 pensioners of the National Magisterium who cannot be charged the tax on luxury pensions.
According to calculations of the National Pensions Directorate, if that exemption could be removed, the government could save ¢ 1.8 billion a year.
"We are making an important effort to accelerate the process of reviewing and sending the files to which the exoneration elimination should be applied, so that we can generate more savings," said the minister of Labor and Social Security, Steven Núñez Rímola.
A.M. Costa Rica wire services photoAccording to calculations of the National Pensions Directorate, the government could save ¢ 1.8 billion a year.
There are three law reforms to reduce government spending in the payment of luxury pensions.
- The law that limits the maximum amount of pensions.
- The law that prohibits increasing the pensions of ex-lawmakers, by 30 percent each year.
- The law that increased the retirement age in some organizations. In this case, some government employees can request pensions even if they are younger than the standard age of 65.
- The law that decreases the amount of pensions for employees of the Judiciary Ministry.
|Chepe Joven 2018 Festival this Sunday
By A.M. Costa Rica staff
Sunday the Chepe
Joven Festival begins. It is a
free event for everyone and
produced by the Municipality of
San José in Paseo Colon. The
festival will start at 9 a.m.
A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo
More than 20,000 people are expected for the festival.
In total, 60 private security officers and
approximately 120 municipal police officers are
being hired to maintain in control of the
activity from start to finish.
Moved to Costa Rica to Escape Trump
By A.M. Costa Rica
The 13 percent of Americans would move abroad for a romantic relationship, more would do it for politics, including 38 percent of Democrats who’d leave because of the political climate. Was reported on OZY/SurveyMonkey nationwide poll.
Like most people, we thought Trump was pulling another publicity stunt. When it became clear that he was going to be the Republican nominee, I warned my husband, Jim, that if Trump won the election I was moving to Costa Rica. We had friends who’d vacationed here and loved it, but we’d never been.
On election night I sat in stunned disbelief, and then the tears came. Just before going to bed to cry myself to sleep, I told Jim once again that I refused to live in a country where Trump was president. I reiterated that I planned on leaving the States. He looked at the tears rolling down my face and promised that he would go with me.
I’m a lifelong Democrat, though I did vote for John McCain. I admired his service and appreciated that he picked a woman to be his running mate. I also voted for Mitt Romney, for which I have no excuse. Hillary Clinton was always my favorite candidate though, and I thought Barack Obama had stolen her nomination.
Jim considers himself a moderate independent. We met when we were both 40, and he liked Ronald Reagan while I avidly supported Jimmy Carter. Jim was attending the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama, when we met in October 1980, and we were married six months later, despite our political differences.
We ended up in Rockport, Texas, surrounded by Trump people when Hillary lost. Jim and I both had been slowly doing research on everything required to move to Costa Rica in case Hillary lost, but the paperwork was complex. I researched other possibilities and came up with Portugal. It sounded wonderful, but after spending two weeks there we knew the climate was too cold for us.
So Jim started putting together the necessary documents, some of which were ordered by mail or online, but others we’d have to get in Alabama, where we used to live: renewed passports, our marriage license, my birth certificate. None was cheap.
We put together all the paperwork we could, bought an RV and, in late July 2017, we packed up and headed for Canada via Alabama. We’d always wanted to see Eastern Canada and decided we’d better do it before Costa Rica. On Aug. 25 we learned our Texas home had been hit hard by Hurricane Harvey, so we cut our touring short and made the most of our trip back, not knowing what to expect once we reached Texas.
It would be early December before we could finally escape Texas because of so many homes being damaged or destroyed. Jim just this week returned from Austin with news that Rockport, where we’d lived, had still not recovered. Our house was, thankfully, rented, but we will never live there again.
After more travel to see friends and family, we flew out of Atlanta on March 27, having acquired all of the documents we’d need. The FBI report was the last to arrive.
Upon arriving in San José, Costa Rica’s bustling capital, we checked into our hotel and the next day rented a car. San José is an enormous city. The streets are potholed and complicated by life-threatening car, truck and motorcycle drivers, all in a hellacious hurry. The cyclists dart through any opening, up and down the hilly streets. It was thrilling, scary and also very confusing. The avenidas go one way; the calles go another. It’s very easy to become entangled in traffic jams with no apparent cause other than too many drivers are headed in the same direction at the same damn time.
A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo
Ms Mary Wallace article published at About OZY.com
Costa Rica is big on security, with more security companies than police stations. Most homes are fully barred, and many yards are too. The crime rate, we soon learned, is high. Those who can afford to live in gated communities do, but we hated the first condo we lived in, a concrete jungle of modern, boxy homes, all without screened-in porches or decks, but surrounded by lovely mountains. After only two months there we knew we had to get a place much more to our taste.
Costa Rican real estate agents handle all types of rentals, as well as home sales. Our real estate agent has become our closest friend here, and today the owners of a bed-and-breakfast where we spent a week came to visit us. We have met some other people but were advised not to limit ourselves to befriending expats, since some are here only to make money, any way they can.
I have made Facebook friends with some, but we have yet to meet anyone else who came here to escape Trump like we did. I keep expecting to see some of the movie stars who said they would, but so far none have appeared, not even Cher. Maybe they prefer the Pacific Coast, and we live inland in the lush Central Valley. I am aware of a group of Trump haters, but Jim refuses to join.
Our attorney is charging us $3,000 to file for our pensionada. We cannot open a bank account here until we receive proof that we have applied. To buy our 2012 Audi, Jim used ATMs to stockpile enough cash, winning some at a local casino playing blackjack and a weird kind of poker. It’s red and very sporty for a pair of old people, and we love it. Groceries cost a lot here, so we joined PriceSmart and buy in bulk, though we still shop the farmers markets for local produce, which is very reasonable.
We’ll remain here as long as the U.S. is in chaos, though part of me wants to return now to join in protesting. But that desire is fleeting because I’m in love with our 60-year-old casa and the gardens that surround it, and I hate the thought of leaving here. The people are patient with expats who don’t know Spanish, like us, but at 77, we’re learning as we go. We are, despite a few setbacks, living the good life. Now.
Editor’s note: The views or opinions expressed by the author are the sole and exclusive responsibility of the sender and do not necessarily represent the opinion of A.M. Costa Rica. Therefore, the newspaper does not accept liability for reader's opinion letter content.
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|History of Anne Frank
returns to the National Theater
A.M. Costa Rica staff
The story of Anne Frank,
who wrote a diary about
the horrors of hiding with
her family during World
War II, will be presented
at the National Theater in
co-production with the
Israelite Zionist Center
of Costa Rica.
A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo
The play will be presented starting tonight
and running through Aug. 5.
The functions are presented starting tonight to Aug. 5, at 8 p.m. Tickets cost between $5 to $25. Students and seniors with a Golden Card will get 20 percent discount. For more information on buying tickets,those interested can call 2010-1129 or 2010-1110