Bulgaria's Rail Co Expects Increase in Cargo due to Bosphorus Tunnel
The Bulgarian State Railways(BDZ) expects an increase in transit cargo after the launch of the tunnel under the Bosphorus next week, according to Transport Minister Danail Papazov.
Speaking in Parliament on Friday, Papazov made clear that BDZ had also registered increased interest of businesses in rail loading and transportation facilities for agricultural production.
He also noted that an increase in cargo transportation was expected after the start of the construction of the South Stream gas pipeline.
Papazov, as cited by dnevnik.bg, announced that the talks with creditors of BDZ over the past few days had resulted in the agreement that they would abstain from enforcement steps and approve a deferred payment scheme, while the state would commit to providing support for the rail company.
He made clear that preparations for the deferred payment of BDZ's debts would start next week, adding that talks with the World Bank were underway for technical and financial support.
Papazov said that the fast-track sale of non-operational assets was also forthcoming, real estate and rolling stock, adding that the debts swap scheme would also be applied, mostly with the National Railway Infrastructure Company.
He vowed that the administrative and managerial structure of the railway company would be optimized.
In response to an additional question, Papazov expressed basic endorsement for the privatization of the cargo unit of BDZ, BDZ Freight Services, which was prepared by the center-right GERB government but was stopped by the current, socialist-led government.
He argued, however, that a sale at the current stage would not have a stabilizing impact on the company.
Papazov pointed out that a total of BGN 27 M of the debt principal of BDZ had been paid by September with much effort.
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