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ZSSK passenger rail company to increase fares and eliminate jobs

A new list of fares for passenger railway transport will go into effect in August or September, said Pavol Kravec, chairman of the managerial board and general director of ZSSK, Slovakia’s passenger railway company, stated on June 23, the TASR newswire reported.

A new list of fares for passenger railway transport will go into effect in August or September, said Pavol Kravec, chairman of the managerial board and general director of ZSSK, Slovakia’s passenger railway company, stated on June 23, the TASR newswire reported.

The proposal for the new fares was submitted on that day to the Office for the Regulation of Rail Transport, which must review and approve them before they become effective.

In arguing for the proposed fare increases of 9.96 percent, Kravec told TASR that fares had not changed for seven years while energy prices in that period increased by 31 percent and cumulative inflation reached 27.4 percent. ZSSK expects an increase in revenue of €3-5 million when the new fares are introduced. According to Kravec, ZSSK will report a loss of €9.7 million this year but should be able to balance its finances next year.

ZSSK is also eliminating 332 positions within its austerity measures. About half of these jobs are currently vacant so in reality it will lay off around 150 employees. "Fifty percent of them will retire while only eighty will fall into the social safety net. This process will continue until the end of the year," ZSSK spokesman Alexander Buzinkay told the SITA newswire.

According to the revitalisation program for Slovakia's railway companies approved by the Slovak cabinet in March, ZSSK is to eliminate about 600 jobs. The company had 4,906 employees at the end of April, a year-on-year drop of 106 workers or 2.15 percent.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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