Bulgarian Govt to Form Emergency Body to Save Collapsing Railways

Business | August 3, 2012, Friday // 16:09|  views

Bulgarian State Railways BDZ CEO Yordan Nedev says it is logical for him to resign as the company is collapsing. Photo by Sofia Photo Agency

Bulgaria's transport authorities are going to form an emergency body in order to figure out a way to rescue the collapsing Bulgarian State Railways BDZ, the holding's CEO Yordan Nedev revealed Friday afternoon.

Earlier on Friday, Nedev announced that the passenger trains in Bulgaria can stop running as early as mid-August.

He explained that the cash-strapped company urgently needs the transfer of BGN 14 M from the State in order to keep serving passengers. The State subsidy for BDZ was halted a month ago over the default on a World Bank loan in the amount of BGN 150 M.

The emergency body will most likely started functioning early next week, and will include the BDZ management as well as Transport Minister Ivaylo Moskovski and deputy transport ministers, Nedev told BTA Friday afternoon.

The CEO has reminded that the Finance Ministry led by its chief Simeon Djankov has terminated the monthly state subsidy for BDZ without any explanations. In his words, this may force the company to halt some or all of its trains at any given moment.

Nedev also declared that the Finance Minister has no right to terminate the state subsidy for BDZ because this is a violation of the State Budget Act, which stipulates that subsidies of this kind cannot be terminated or withdrawn.

When asked if he had managed to talk to Finance Minister Simeon Djankov, the BDZ CEO said he has had no contacts with Djankov, and does not even hope to have any.

Nedev neither confirmed, nor denied his intention to resign, stating only that his resignation would be logical in the current situation.

The crisis in BDZ is getting deeper and deeper, and the company's total debts are approaching BGN 1 B.

On Thursday, Bulgarian Prime Minsiter Boyko Borisov offered German company Siemens and German bank KfW to take over BDZ Freight Services in exchange for a debt that BDZ owes to them for the purchase of 50 Siemes Desiro trains.

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Tags: railways, Bulgaria, transport, Passenger Services, Transport Ministry, Finance Ministry, state railways, BDZ, Bulgarian State Railways, layoffs, Yordan Nedev, World Bank, state subsidy, loan, bankruptcy, Simeon Djankov, finance minister, Ivaylo Moskovski, Transport Minister


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