Shidder against further rail liberalization in Europe

The SPÖ’s leading candidate for the EU elections, Andreas Scheider, today presented a five-point plan for the future of rail transport in Europe. Key demands: No further privatization of railways, making flights more expensive by introducing kerosene tax, restricting or banning private flights. In the next EU financial programme, funding for the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) is to be increased from 100 to 150 billion euros.

Schieder wants to push forward a flagship project in the EU over the next five years, “Getting Europe back on the rails – a social democratic transport policy for Austria and the EU”. Investments in the rail sector are critical to economic growth, create jobs, reduce transport costs and protect the climate.

He is opposed to further privatization of the railways and instead should retain the direct award system, he said. “Direct awarding, especially by central and state governments, as we know it in Austria, is at risk. There is new guidance from the European Commission that attempts to deliberately question this direct award.

Scheider said further liberalization would jeopardize security of supply because the focus would be on cost, not quality.

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