Bratislava, January 5 (TASR) – Reintroducing state-run company ZSSK’s InterCity trains on the Bratislava-Kosice route has created healthy competition in Slovakia, as private carrier RegioJet previously had an absolute monopoly on this route, stated the coalition Slovak National Party (SNS) on Thursday.
SNS also stated that RegioJet is cherry-picking. “Slovakia doesn’t need such speculative entrepreneurs who leave not so lucrative business for the state and keep the profitable pieces for themselves,” said Parliamentary Chairman and SNS leader Andrej Danko in response to RegioJet’s announcement earlier in the week that it will stop serving the Bratislava-Kosice rail route in late January.
According to the Czech private carrier, the main reason for its withdrawal from the route is the recent reintroduction of InterCity trains, with another factor being free rail travel for pensioners and students, which has been in place since late 2014. RegioJet also claimed that the political decision to reintroduce the express trains was taken under pressure from Danko.
SNS strongly rejects the statements of the Czech carrier. “If the company thinks that it can’t cope with its business in Slovakia, it should look for the culprit in its own ranks and not shift responsibility for its management failure to the SNS leader and parliamentary chairman,” reads an SNS statement.
The party further noted that restoring state-run InterCity trains on the Bratislava-Kosice route was one of SNS’s political objectives.
“The Slovak National Party can’t and won’t simply observe the decomposition and demolition of state activities. On the contrary, we have to protect what we have in Slovakia,” said Danko, adding that none of the Slovak carriers in the Czech Republic enjoys such conditions or a monopoly on a priority route between the two largest cities in the state like RegioJet had in Slovakia.