In its omnibus bill containing the October prior actions required for Greece’s bailout payments to be released, the government has included a series of regulations aimed at facilitating the privatization of rail services company Trainose, in which a US company has expressed an interest.
Trainose will receive an annual subsidy of 50 million euros for the period from 2015 to 2020 – i.e. a total of 300 million – for the supply of a public service by operating unpopular rail routes. There is also a provision for writing off Trainose’s and railway carriage company Rosco’s debts to the state via parent company Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE) once the privatization is complete – with the consent of the European Commission.
The government wants to clear Trainose’s past debts so that it can be delivered to the chosen bidder unburdened. Now state sell-off fund TAIPED is awaiting the submission of bids, with the deadline set for December 3. Russian Railways has already expressed an interest, while Romania’s GFR will also bid for Trainose in cooperation with US company Watco. The interest originally expressed by the French railway firm SNCF has been withdrawn.