Greek rail privatisation to be reconsidered

03 February 2015

After halting the privatisation of the state-owned power company and the sale of the government’s stake in Piraeus Port Authority, Greece’s newly-elected government has announced that it is to review the country's rail privatisation programme.

The International Railway Journal reported last week that the Energy and Environment minister Mr Panagiotis Lafazanis is reconsidering the planned sale of national train operating company Trainose and Hellenic Company for Rolling Stock Maintenance (Rosco), which was in its final stages.

Prior to the general election last week, Greece was in the midst of a major sale of state assets as a condition of the country's €240bn bailout agreement with the European Central Bank, the European Union, the International Monetary Fund, and international creditors.

ASLEF general secretary Mick Whelan said ‘The EU/IMF bailout package created huge increases in unemployment, reductions in wages and pensions and a loss of access to health services as well as an erosion of basic rights such as collective bargaining. Almost a third of Greece’s population is now said to be living below the poverty line, while 18% are unable to afford basic food needs. Austerity, spending cuts and privatisation are not the answer and by voting for Alexis Tsipra, Greece has chosen another way forward. We are delighted to hear that the Greek railways may well be staying as they should be, in the public sector’.

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