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Deal to Save Rail Operator over EUR 9M With Wage Cuts

Ljubljana, 01 February (STA) - Social partners at Slovenske zeleznice signed on Monday an agreement on cutting the salaries at the railway operator that will save the company EUR 9.2m this year. Under the agreement, salaries will be cut for six months.

Prime Minister Borut Pahor, who paid his fourth visit to the company today, said that the deal presented a huge responsibility for the operator and the cabinet to do everything in their power for the company's consolidation.

After the consolidation, the cabinet will propose a plan for the modernisation of cargo and passenger transport, Pahor said.

The National Assembly could be taking vote on the project of modernisation by the end of this year. This involves a huge investment, which will however pay off, Pahor noted.

Transport Minister Patrick Vlacic, who accompanied Pahor, said that in January great effort had been invested in saving Slovenske zeleznice.

The national programme for the development of railway infrastructure is being drafted. It will be accompanied with a study on freight flows in the coming 10 to 15 years.

The government will also debate shortly regulations on systemic financing of the construction of railway infrastructure that will enable the drawing of EUR 440m in EU funds, Vlacic said.

Slovenske zeleznice CEO Goran Brankovic also informed Pahor and Vlacic about his latest visit to Deutsche Bahn. He said that Slovenske zeleznice management would pay a visit to the German rail operator again in two weeks, when more details will be revealed about the visits.

The heavily indebted company expects to make a loss of EUR 81m in 2010.

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