Minister Puente demands “responsibility” from France for “unhindered” access to the railway market.

This Wednesday, Transport Minister Oscar Puente demanded “responsibility” from the French government for “unhindered” access to the French rail market for Spanish companies, a message he will convey to his French counterpart in a bilateral meeting on Thursday. Brussels, where it also calls for “responsibility” for business models like Ouigo’s that may be “unsustainable” in the long term.

The minister has been embroiled in controversy in recent days after accusing a French company operating in Ouigo and Irio in Spain. [participada por Globalvía, accionistas de Air Nostrum y la compañía pública de Italia, Trenitalia] for lowering their fares, allowing losses and getting poor economic results for Renfe. “The two companies that operate in our market outside of Renfe (…) lose a huge amount of money and they lose it by cutting prices, which leads Renfe to these bad results,” Oscar Puente said in a statement. Interview on Cadena SER.

In a statement to the press on his arrival at an informal meeting of EU transport ministers in Brussels, Puente said he would take advantage of the meeting on Thursday to hold a bilateral meeting with French Transport Minister Patrice Vergriet to address issues affecting the EU. Rail transit and cross-border infrastructure between the two countries.

The Spanish minister wanted the European Commission – which asked Paris several times last year for an explanation over delays in the Atlantic Corridor high-speed link – to attend the meeting, but in the end the public will not. Representation, he clarified, Bridge, because “France did not agree.”

“We have to approach things honestly and responsibly,” argued Puente, confirming that among the issues he wants to discuss with his French counterpart is the situation at Ouigo, a subsidiary of France’s public rail company, SNCF. The minister criticized the policy of low prices and its impact on Renfe.

In this context, Puente calls for “responsibility” because at the same time that a French company enters the Spanish market, Spain “has the right to enter” the French market and “to do so without obstacles. objects.”

It also requires “responsibility in terms of the approach to the business model,” the minister explained, then defended that “in the long term it cannot be an unsustainable business model,” because, he warned, if it is not sustainable, “the money will come from taxes or from the pockets of consumers.”

Source: El Diario

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