Authorities prepare ground for entry into Romania of rail multinationals, national companies to be "shattered" (union)

The Government Decision Draft for the approval of the public service contracts for the 1 January, 2020 - 31 December, 2023 period in public passenger transport services by rail is a disaster for all six companies with Romanian capital, including CFR Passengers, which will be "shattered", says Iulian Manescu, president of the Federation of Locomotive Drivers (FML). According to him, the document does nothing but prepare the ground for the entry into Romania of the multinationals, namely DB (Deutsche Bahn AG) and OBB. In this context, the trade union leader stated that the transport unions are preparing a series of amendments that they will bring to this draft normative act, which, in its current form, will cause the Romanian companies to be removed from the market. According to him, the draft act, in its current form, will generate losses of over 600 million lei in 2020 for CFR Passengers. Asked whether he is considering a protest if the amendments are not to be accepted, the FML president replied: "I do not even think it will remain in this form, because where is the interest of the Romanian state?!" He stressed that Romania still has to deregulate the allocation of traffic sections, with a deadline until December 2023. He pointed out that no national passenger rail transport company is profitable, but governments infuse capital into these companies, and any losses are passed at the end of the year to public debt, so as not to generate penalties and accessories. Moreover, in their case there are no penalties imposed for non-observance of the indicators as train-km or passenger-km. The president of the FML did not show confidence in the current government regarding openness to supporting the Romanian railway, mentioning that he received promises regarding the possibility of receiving more money at the summer budget rectification. Currently, on the Romanian rail market are operating the National Railway Transport Company "CFR Passengers" SA and five private railway operators - Regio Passengers, Interregional Passengers, Transferoviar Passengers, Astra Trans Carpatic and Softrans.AGERPRES (RO - author: Oana Tilica, editor: Andreea Marinescu; EN - author: Bogdan Gabaroi, editor: Simona Iacob)

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