Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Costa Rica to end insurance monopoly

Costa Rican Congress approves ending its 84-year-old insurance monopoly

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (AP) - Costa Rica is saying goodbye to its 84-year-old insurance monopoly as it opens the industry to national and international competition.

Lawmakers late Tuesday approved legislation to end the government-run National Insurance Institute (INS). President Oscar Arias is expected to sign it into law.

Last month, Costa Rica broke up its state-run telecommunications monopoly.

Washington demanded Costa Rica break up its monopolies before Oct. 1 for the implementation of the Central American Free Trade Agreement.

The rest of Central America and the Dominican Republic joined CAFTA in 2006.

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