Greek Railways Set To Be Sold Off

oseUnder pressure from international lenders to speed the pace of privatization, the Greek government said the tender for the sale of a 100 percent stake in the Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE) is to start by the end of the second quarter of the year.

Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis and the Managing Director of Greece’s privatization fund, Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund’s (HRADF), Yiannis Emiris said that the aim is to pick an investor by the end of this year or the beginning of 2014. Hatzidakis said that a potential snag over state subsidies that was being examined by the European Commission has been overcome.

Emiris said the tender was made possible after OSE showed a small profit for 2012. He added that efforts were also being made to launch a tender for ROSCO, the company responsible for the maintenance of rolling stock and railroad equipment.

OSE is an independent company of the Greek State that functions under the umbrella of the Ministry of Transport and Communications. It was established in December 2005 for the purpose of providing railway passenger and freight transport services. On December 2008, OSE sold and transferred its entire shares portfolio, which made up the total share capital of the company, to the state, which became the sole shareholder.

Hatzidakis stated that, “The denationalization of TRAINOSE S.A. has begun” and announced that the shares of the company were transferred from the Greek State to the HRADF. “Very soon, there is going to be a different landscape concerning the railways in Greece,” he said.

Emiris said that in the next few months, “The competition for the privatization of TRAINOSE will begin.” The competition will last some months, according to Emiris. He added that they “expect to run a very fast and strict procedure in order to complete this extremely important denationalization until the end of this year, no later than the beginning of the next.”

The first big investment of the current government was the deal between HP (Hewlett Packard) and Cosco-OSE to connect the rail line from the port of Piraeus to Thessaloniki’s port and from there with Central Europe.  Competition for the privatization of ROSCO, an OSE’s subsidiary, is to begin as well, concerning the conservation of railway material.


  1. this is a disgrace it should be going in the opposite direction to nationalise companies. Then the budget benefits from the income.

  2. Dear Guest003
    Greece needs to sell these assets as they are bloated with staff and they cannot be dismissed due to the permanent employment law in Greece. Hellenic railways has been making a loss and will continue to do so like Olympic airways unfortunately..
    In any other country it could return a profit but not in Greece..
    Railways drivers are on some of the best wages in Greece…So when the government has no funds to prop up these loss making services they are sold off and that is what needs to happen in Greece… No political party in Greece has the guts or is willing to amend the constitution regarding permanent employment in Greece.. So the only solution is to sell assets off…

  3. Yeah, Sell vital services which make a country run to foreigners for ‘profit’ AKA charge more for poor service..

  4. Railway is Public national Service, covering a basic need for transportation at low cost and relatively low impact on environment.
    Privatization is just a matter of ideology, and the need for a few rich people to pick more money where they can. They NEVER have enough.

    As a public service, the cost has to be included in the State budget, being paid both through fair taxes and low ticket cost.

    Public Service that is. The corruption of our society made this words almost an insult because some parasites want to make money with it. With EVERYTHING.

  5. You BETTER guarantee that any purchaser is a Hellene with roots in Hellas and that they will not raise prices to the roof, sell off valuable assets… just as a conservative premier did in my state and now we all suffer.


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