The railway must save – but does not reveal what

Deutsche Bahn wants to save more than 4 billion euros to receive even more billions from the federal government. This should not affect the infrastructure, personnel or trains.

According to the railways, the corona crisis is tearing a hole in the balance – according to plans by the federal government, it must be filled with billions in aid. In return, the state-owned company must also save. But what exactly has to be stored and where remains in the dark. Because it should not affect the development of the infrastructure, the planned staff increase or the additional vehicles planned. This is evidenced by the replies of the federal government to a small request from the FDP in the Bundestag, which are available at Chillreport.

Plans are subject to change

Since the plans for Deutsche Bahn were announced in May, the FDP, among others, fears that the increase in the federal government’s equity capital must close the gaps that have arisen as a result of economic decisions in recent years – and less as a result. of the declining passenger numbers in the Corona crisis. In any case, the plans are still subject to change, because the EU must agree. As a result, Member of Parliament Christian Jung is not very happy with the answers to his question.

“I wonder how and where Deutsche Bahn wants to save,” Jung told Chillreport. “From that, we can only conclude that there is enormous potential for optimization, financial reserves and efficiency that has been dormant so far, which could save around EUR 4 billion over the next four years.” So is the increase in equity meant to remedy previous maladministration, as union members are also encouraging?

Federal Court of Auditors: no more foreign investments

In any case, the federal court of auditors remains skeptical. Even before the Corona crisis, there was great pressure to act. The railway would have to prove that the extra demand was really caused by the pandemic. Sustainable sources of loss, for example in freight transport, should be eliminated, investments should only serve the railways in Germany and subsidiaries abroad should be sold.

Initially, however, the staff can be affected. In a planning document of the group for the federal government, which, among other things, is at the disposal of the “Wirtschaftswoche”, it says: “The main focus of countermeasures is on personnel and material costs.” Deutsche Bahn and the railway trade union EVG are currently negotiating collective negotiations for this reason – with moderate success.

Just a few days ago, the EVG distanced itself from the negotiating status it had achieved so far: “ If the DB AG believes that a verbal commitment to the recruitment and training offensive is our Railway ‘, it has become enormous. cheated, ”wrote EVG negotiator Kristian Loroch in a statement. “The recruitment figures presented to us so far are nowhere near sufficient.” In addition, the EVG expects a “moderate pay increase” of 1.5 percent.

According to the federal government, the Group’s medium-term planning will not be finalized until the end of the year. Only then will the supervisory board decide. This is unsatisfactory for the FDP. “The answer reveals the federal government’s helplessness and lack of concepts at state-owned Deutsche Bahn with its more than 700 partially opaque and questionable investments,” Jung told Chillreport. So far it is unclear whether foreign investment will also be affected by austerity measures.

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