EU plans threaten to break up Deutsche Bahn
Published: 17 Dec 2012 11:37 GMT+01:00
Updated: 17 Dec 2012 11:37 GMT+01:00
Germany's railway operator Deutsche Bahn could soon sees its rail and train businesses broken apart if the European Union implements plans to turn Europe's railway network into a single market where any firm can offer services.
EU Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas is to unveil a raft of new measures in January that will radically open Europe's rail markets and seriously affect Deutsche Bahn's business, Die Welt newspaper reported on Monday.
Kallas wants to turn Europe into a single large network, abolishing previous monopoly structures.
In the proposal, quoted in the paper, Kallas wrote that the aim was to prevent "conflicts of interest" within network operators, and abolish "the potential for cross-financing that occurs in integrated structures." He believes the move will foster greater efficiency and save European taxpayers €23 billion.
The commissioner is supported by a recent EU survey which found that only 46 percent of Europeans are satisfied with their national rail service, and that trains have the lowest satisfaction ratings of any public transport system.
Deutsche Bahn CEO Rüdiger Grube told Die Welt that resisting Kallas' plans is one of his top priorities. He said the measures would mean that the separation of Germany's rail network ownership and train operations would come in December 2019, four years earlier than previously planned.
The German government has also consistently opposed the plans.