The government on Monday called on public transport employees to display "a sense of responsibility", commenting on the mobilisations they have announced this week, namely, strikes.
Infrastructures, Transport and Networks Minister Yiannis Ragoussis said employees of state-run mass transit networks should decide on their stance taking under consideration the country’s and the citizens’ interest and respect the sacrifices made by everybody including themselves.
Ragoussis unveiled official figures according to which the cost of operation of public transport companies in 2011 will be 249 million euros for Athens Urban Transport Organisation (OASA), which runs the buses, and 191 million euros for Hellenic Railways (OSE) and Trainose, the rail operator. He underlined that based on the figures, the 2011 budget forecasts are likely will be overshot and deficits will be larger by roughly 150 million euros.
The minister underlined that each day of strike action translates into a dramatic deterioration of the current borderline situation the public transport is in and dangerously multiplies the painful measures that will have to be taken for the sector’s survival.
He lashed out at the trade union leaders stressing that through "social automatism" they try to pressure the organisations’ managements and the government to put off a number of structural reforms.