Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Russia may buy Greek railway system
Greece has long lost sovereignty to its creditors. In return for loans it has been forced to sell off state assets. No doubt they will go at fire sale prices.
The Russian railway monopoly Russsian Railways is in talks with Greek authorities. The head of Russian Railways said: "We're keeping in contact with the Greeks … They haven't decided on the model yet, so it's too early to talk about our participation."
Romania's largest private railway is interested in the cargo part of the Greek business. Russia has been interested in investing in Greek railways for some time.Proposals made last year were reportedly rejected by Greece. The situation may be different now.
However there are reports that Greece wants a French company to run the railways to service foreign debts. However the French company involved SNCF said through a spokesperson that the operator "is not in the running for the purchase of Trainose, nor is it in the running for the purchase of a railway company or a railway line in Greece".
An EU timetable has tenders for Trainose (the Greek railway system) to be opened in the last quarter of this year. All the assets of the company will be transferred to a privatization fund. The proceeds will go to pay off Greek debt.