BUSINESS

EU demands explanations on OSE grants worth 12 bln

VANGELIS MANDRAVELIS

TAGS: Finance, Transport

Brussels is asking Athens to explain the more than 12 billion euros in state grants handed to the Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE) in recent years.

The Directorate General for Competition sent the government a letter requesting details on state grants to OSE totaling 475 million since 2011, the government’s intention to write off OSE obligations of up to 12 billion from grants before 2011, and the transfer of 1,693 OSE employees to other state agencies and corporations.

It is clear that if the Greek authorities fail to convince the European Commission, they will find themselves with a sizable fiscal hole in the range of between 5 and 12 billion. The precise amount will be decided after the response of the Greek authorities and subsequent negotiations. Some sources do not rule out the closure of OSE altogether.

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