EU de­mands ex­pla­na­tions on OSE grants worth 12 bln

Kathimerini English - - Focus - VAN­GE­LIS MANDRAVELIS

Brus­sels is ask­ing Athens to ex­plain the more than 12 billion eu­ros in state grants handed to the Hel­lenic Rail­ways Or­ga­ni­za­tion (OSE) in re­cent years.

The Di­rec­torate Gen­eral for Com­pe­ti­tion sent the gov­ern­ment a let­ter re­quest­ing de­tails on state grants to OSE to­tal­ing 475 mil­lion since 2011, the gov­ern­ment’s in­ten­tion to write off OSE obli­ga­tions of up to 12 billion from grants be­fore 2011, and the trans­fer of 1,693 OSE em­ploy­ees to other state agen­cies and cor­po­ra­tions.

It is clear that if the Greek au­thor­i­ties fail to con­vince the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion, they will find them­selves with a siz­able fiscal hole in the range of between 5 and 12 billion. The pre­cise amount will be de­cided af­ter the re­sponse of the Greek au­thor­i­ties and sub­se­quent ne­go­ti­a­tions. Some sources do not rule out the clo­sure of OSE al­to­gether.

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