Czechia News Rail

Czech PM Babiš: ČD Cargo is not for sale. I don’t know why Ťok said that

ČD Cargo Class 750, source: CEE Transport/Jan Sůra
ČD Cargo Class 750, source: CEE Transport/Jan Sůra

Government will not sell its stake at ČD Cargo freight railway company nor any other government-owned company. Czech PM Andrej Babiš from rulling ANO 2011 party refused this idea in Czech Television’s Otázky Václava Moravce debate. This is opposite to what Minister of Transport Dan Ťok said last week. He suggested that ČD Cargo could offer its share on stock exchange. Both politicians are elected for same party.

“ČD Cargo does business on fully liberalized marked. Being a Czech Railways subsidiary is not a good position,” Ťok said to Lidové noviny newspaper. Private funding could help company to complete needed investments according to the Minister.

Babiš got angry by the question. “I don’t know where this idea comes from. We will not privatize ČD Cargo. I don’t know why he says that,” PM said and added that he needs to inquiry the Ministry of Transport about this idea. He is personally against privatization.

ČEZ, gouvernement-owned energy company, is often discussed as an example for ČD Cargo privatization. In this model, government would keep majority and offer minority share to private investors. ČD Cargo is is profitable this year, contrary to many years before. Q1 earnings are as high as 350 million CZK (13,57 million EUR).

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