BUSINESS

Money uselessly borrowed for railway investments

Since 1990, the Romanian railway operator ‘Caile Ferate Romane’ (CFR) has restored only 211 km of rail infrastructure, ‘Jurnalul National’ reports. The average speed of trains dropped each year, while fares kept increasing. Plus, the ever higher debts hindered the efforts to obtain financing for investments in modern railroad lines, so CFR is now on the monitoring list drawn by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Minister of Transport Anca Boagiu wants state-run railway companies to draw European funds worth EUR 2.3 bln by the end of the year. This is the whole sum allotted to Romania for the development of the rail infrastructure.

In approximately 20 years, only three routes have been revamped: Campina – Bucharest, Bucharest – Baneasa – Fundulea, Bucharest North – Bucharest Baneasa + Fetesti – Constanta.

In a different move, the leader of the Meridian National Confederation of Trade Unions, Ion Popescu said that the ‘Gara de Nord’ (North Station) of Bucharest is in danger of being impounded and the operations of CFR are seriously hampered by the debts accumulated over the last six years towards its electricity providers, Mediafax informs. However, CFR claims that it din not received any official note about the building being impounded.

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