The European Commission has given Greece the green light to start the privatization process for Greek railway service operator Trainose.
In a letter sent to the Transport Ministry, Commission Vice President Joaquin Almunia, informed Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis that the restructuring of the train operator, which started in 2010, as well as its forthcoming privatization will relieve the company of the burden that the issue of state subsidies has brought on it.
The state subsidies, which Almunia referred to, mostly concern the debts of about 750 million euros that Trainose has accumulated since 2007 when it was split from the other companies of the Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE) group. Those debts have been absorbed by the state. Trainose has also undertaken the subsidized routes for five years without a tender, with an annual subsidy totaling 50 million euros.
Almunia also said that the reorganization and the sell-off of the company will secure its survival and development, reinstate Greek railways within European competition and bring benefits to the company as well as to the passenger and cargo clientele.
The privatization process is set to begin officially in the coming days.