Two rail companies to receive €200 million each for services to state

The state has ordered services worth over €400 million for 2011 from the country's rail-infrastructure operator Slovak Railways (ŽSR) and passenger-transport provider Railway Company Slovakia (ZSSK), with the contracted sums divided more or less evenly between the two, Transport Minister Ján Figeľ (Christian Democrats-KDH) told a press conference on Monday, December 27. The deal with ZSSK, which is set to be given €205 million next year, has been signed for a longer period of time than was previously the case.

The state has ordered services worth over €400 million for 2011 from the country's rail-infrastructure operator Slovak Railways (ŽSR) and passenger-transport provider Railway Company Slovakia (ZSSK), with the contracted sums divided more or less evenly between the two, Transport Minister Ján Figeľ (Christian Democrats-KDH) told a press conference on Monday, December 27.

The deal with ZSSK, which is set to be given €205 million next year, has been signed for a longer period of time than was previously the case.

"We're moving ahead from a three-year period to one of ten years. This is due to a new law as well as new characteristics that will come into effect as of January 1, 2011," said Figeľ as quoted by the TASR newswire.

The state has signed a contract for a total of 33.3 million kilometres of rail transport in 2011. According to ZSSK head Pavol Kravec, this represents a drop of 5 percent, or 2 million kilometres, with the cut due to affect 3 percent of rail passengers. The state is currently analysing the specific routes to be affected. However, it is expected that the least-used lines will be chosen, said Kravec.

Meanwhile, contrary to the previous practice of one-year contracts, the deal with ŽSR is to be signed, for the first time ever, for a period spanning three years.

"The contract presupposes a non-investment state subsidy of some €200 million for next year," said Figeľ, adding that funds to be earmarked in 2012 and 2013 will be stipulated by contract addenda.

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