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Transport minister: State will sell at least 66 percent of ZSSK Cargo

The state is planning to sell at least 66 percent of the shares in ZSSK Cargo, Slovakia’s dominant rail-freight operator, by June 2012, Transport Minister Jan Figeľ (Christian Democratic Movement (KDH)) announced on Wednesday, March 16.

The state is planning to sell at least 66 percent of the shares in ZSSK Cargo, Slovakia’s dominant rail-freight operator, by June 2012, Transport Minister Jan Figeľ (Christian Democratic Movement (KDH)) announced on Wednesday, March 16.

The Finance Ministry, headed by Ivan Mikloš (Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ)), originally proposed selling all of Cargo. The government on Wednesday approved a revitalisation plan for the three railway companies (Železničná spoločnosť Slovensko, Železnice SR and ZSSK Cargo). The recovery plan foresees Cargo laying off around 1,800 employees, Železničná spoločnosť 1,700 and ŽSR 231. Figeľ pointed out that the current situation is unsustainable, with the overall indebtedness of the three companies climbing to €1 billion.

"It isn't about lay-offs but about rescue," stressed Figeľ, as quoted by the TASR newswire. Furthermore, the state is going to shut down operations on the lines Plešivec-Muráň (Košice and Banská Bystrica Regions), Štúrovo-Štúrovo state border (Nitra Region), Fiľakovo-Šiatorská Bukovinka state border (Banská Bystrica Region), Medzilaborce-Medzilaborce state border (Prešov Region) and Bratislava New Town-Bratislava Petržalka.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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