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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-05-19

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Government approves railway reform in Greece

  • [01] Government approves railway reform in Greece

    The government on Tuesday approved a programme for major reforms and the rationalisation of Hellenic Railways (OSE), during a meeting of the inner Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.

    Transport Minister Evripidis Stylianidis afterwards told reporters that the programme called for deep reforms, since OSE's accumulated debts were now close to nine billion euros and the organisation's cost-revenue ratio stood at 8:1, when the European average was 10:8.

    "Each and every Greek citizen currently pays two million euros a day to maintain a network that is unfortunately declining, due to choices made in the past, and only able to survive and operate because of the earnest efforts of its workforce," Stylianidis stressed.

    He said the government's aim was to press ahead with changes and once again link up Greece with important European and international railway routes, providing high quality services to Greek citizens and ending the isolation of Greece's outlying rural areas.

    The minister emphasised, meanwhile, that the plan was for rationalisation and not privatisation of the organisation, while adding that "deregulation allows the participation of private service providers".

    Regarding OSE employees, Stylianidis said the government intended to begin consultation and to propose a system of "salaried reserves" that will drastically cut back the number of workers but in a way that would not interfere with the organisation's operation.

    In addition to the reform efforts, the government was attempting to speed up work being carried out on the central line between Patras, Athens, Thessaloniki, Eidomeni and Promahonas (PATHEP), he added.

    OSE workers' union calls strike

    In the meantime, the railway workers' union POS has called a 24-hour nationwide strike on Thursday that will disrupt scheduled services between Wednesday and Friday, according to an announcement by the railways' management.

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