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Greek Railway Tender Postponed, Terms Downgraded

© Wikipedia / SV1XV Siemens-Henschel HellasSprinter electric locomotive 120-016 of OSE enters Thessaloniki New Passenger Station
Siemens-Henschel HellasSprinter electric locomotive 120-016 of OSE enters Thessaloniki New Passenger Station - Sputnik International
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Greece’s Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) postponed by three weeks the second stage of a tender for the sale of the country’s rail service operator with downgraded terms, a source in the Greek business community told RIA Novosti on Sunday.

ATHENS (Sputnik) – May 31 was the scheduled date of TrainOSE operator’s second call for bids in which competing firms were due to make binding offers.

"HRADF sent out a letter to a number of companies associated with the railroads notifying them that the second stage will be held June 22," the source said.

The source added that TrainOSE’s debts, which totaled nearly $1 billion (850 million euros) as of October 1, 2015, would not be cancelled despite a special bill passed in Greek parliament.

"The European Commission approved only a 713 million euro write-off," the source elaborated.

The operator’s investor is likely to take on the debt, which is expected to have risen in the past six months because Greek rail services are unprofitable, the source added.

TrainOSE train in Greece - Sputnik International
Greek Railway Privatization Tender Runs Into Month-Long Delay
HRADF also revised the terms of the privatization of the Port of Thessaloniki. Its preliminary call for bids is scheduled for late July, and instead of ownership transfer, the seaport is expected to be transferred to concession for 35 years. The investor would be required to spent 309 million euros by 2020 and 833 million euros by 2050, the source said, adding that the changes are likely to make the port less attractive to investors.

The Russian Railways company was said to be among Italian and Greek firms that voiced interest in privatizing Greek assets, including its rail services.

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