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Rösler plans to sell off state-owned firms
Photo: DPA

Rösler plans to sell off state-owned firms

Published: 25 Dec 2012 13:17 GMT+01:00
Updated: 25 Dec 2012 13:17 GMT+01:00

Economy Minister Philipp Rösler is planning a sell-off of state-owned companies such as Deutsche Telekom and Deutsche Bahn, according to a position paper from his ministry.

"The state must pull out of commercial companies and financial institutes," Rösler says in the paper which has been seen by Die Welt newspaper.

The aim is to pump billions into the federal budget, the paper said. Immediate measures could include the calling up of an expert commission to work out concrete suggestions of how to raise money.

The balancing of the federal budget has been planned for 2016, but this could be reached earlier if the government sells its shares in a number of commercial ventures.

A payment of profit dividends from the KfW state-owned investment bank would also help to boost federal budget figures - and contribute to fairness within the banking sector, the minister also suggested.

The federal state owns 14.8 percent of Deutsche Telekom, which is worth €1.67 billion, while its 16.9 percent of the KfW is worth €1.8 billion, Die Welt said.

The state is 100-percent owner of Deutsche Bahn, which has been valued at €2 billion. It also owns significant shares in Deutsche Post and the airports Berlin-Schönefeld, Cologne/Bonn and Munich.

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Your comments about this article

14:03 December 25, 2012 by Silmarillion
It would be a great great mistake to do it.
15:34 December 25, 2012 by Englishted
The S.P.D. should state it would re-nationalise anything this idiot and his party (3%) do to the family silver,without compensation I might add.
18:32 December 25, 2012 by jg.
It is all part of EU plans for the removal of state monopolies. Having forced other member states into selling off their monopolies in telecommunications, transport, utilities, etc. it would hardly be fair if Germany (and/or France) continue to flout the same anti-competition rules they have supported and exploited elsewhere in the EU.
19:14 December 25, 2012 by FogFimFoo
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
00:02 December 26, 2012 by Tonne
This would be a huge mistake and must be strongly resisted. The situation in the UK after privatisation of the railways is a complete mess and commentators always choose DB as a comparator of how a railway should be run.

Example: Manchester - London return leaving Manchester at 07.15 and returning at 17.00, cost €270 (ca. 320 km).

Hamburg - Dortmund return leaving and returning at roughly the same times, cost at normal fares €152 (ca. 340 km).

There is only one winner with privatisation and it is not the passenger.
09:25 December 26, 2012 by wood artist
The great "danger" in turning things like DB into purely private companies is that they can then focus on the "most profitable" lines and cut back services and increase fares on the others. Ultimately that's what has killed rail in the US is that the private outfits simply stopped providing service when they couldn't make any money on it. As a parallel, it was only after the government mandated that utilities MUST provide gas or electricity or telephone service to everyone, even if that meant putting in miles of wire (in the case of electricity or telephone) to reach on a couple of homes. Were that not the case, the companies would have cut off rural service and simply done only the big cities.

The example by @Tonne is a perfect display of what happens, and London to Manchester is not a line between two little places. The government can mandate such things, but a private, for-profit company will always find a way to get around those regulations.

wa
11:35 December 26, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
I understand your points WA and Tonne. However I think it is a good idea to privatise these industries in line with the rest or Europe. It should also be a requirement in granting licences to compete with DB and DT that less lucrative lines are maintained with a minimum standard of service set. The costs of using DB is ridiculous and competition from low price carriers like Ryanair and Easyjet in the flight industry can only help. As for DT, just look at how cheap internet use got when competition was opened up. DT is a dinosaur and competition is a necessity.

Whilst they are at it. Any chance they could do something about GEMA. Another dinosaur that has no place in Germany or Europe today.
12:33 December 26, 2012 by Englishted
@Berlin fuer alles

I often agree with your points but not today ,letting public services into private hands has proved a disaster in many countries.

Please don't hold up Ryanair as a example ,if I catch a D.B. train to a destination ,I will arrive at that destination not many kilometers away having been charged for everything including the use of a wheelchair if one is needed .In fact a good example of profit over service and safety .Remember also the "cheap" internet providers use lines owned and maintained by D.T. and they will not provide a line to places off the beaten track.

However I agree wholeheartedly about GEMA ,is there a Facebook page calling for it removal yet ?.
12:58 December 26, 2012 by raandy
Who will own the track? big question and maintain it , will it be the same company everywhere or individual?

There will be a web of contractional relationships to be maintained.Heavy subsidized lines to small places will be either dropped or increase in price. The DB will undoubtedly broken up into many smaller companies,each with its own maintenance departments,employees unions ect.

How this is set up will determine how well the overall system will work. Hopefully the mistakes made by other countries will be looked at and thought through.

I am not sure which way I would vote if I had one, there are so many variables to consider .Getting it right the first time will take a tremendous amount of preparation and research.

After the Air Port fiasco I am a bit dubious

Berlin fuer alles

How true about GEMA, small pubs , that want to hire a local guy for 50 euros can not advertise as the GEMA trolls perouse, the local rags to see whats going on .worried the local guy might sing someones song with out paying.

I understand the need for these artist to protect their music. BUT there has to be a cut off somewhere, for small places that often have less than 25 or so people.

GEMA needs an overhaul they are out of control.
00:37 December 27, 2012 by Steve1949
With the way DHL service has been of late, they won't get much for them.
12:41 December 27, 2012 by michael4096
Centralization (nationalized) tends to be inflexible but efficient, when done correctly. Decentralization is the opposite. Therefore blindly selling off or keeping state assets is just ideology, the trick is to work out what will benefit from centralization and what not. Maintaining a single rail network efficiently sounds to me like a job for a centralized authority whist running the train services on them could be more flexible. After all, the different airlines share airports and airspace - just a question or organization.

This is supposed to be the model for rail in the UK except that the network is badly organized and the services have monopolies that kill all the benefits of decentralization.

GEMA has the efficiency but is inflexible and this works against the public interest.

MVV, the public transport in Munich, is an example of how centralization can work while still outsourcing some services.

A bit of thought and tailoring of solutions is better than blind ideology.
13:46 December 27, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Well put michael. I think you hit the nail on the head with your comment. As with the telephone network and competition for services the rail network could have competition of rail services on a centralised network. This has worked for internet services and there is no reason it cannot work on rail. However there also needs to be a safety mechanism to protect services to less lucrative destinations and non profitable destinations.
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