At the invitation of Croatian Railways (HZ), UIC organised bilateral meetings with HZ debtors. Two days of discussions addressing the shared legacy of the difficulties in the former Yugoslavian area (consequences of war on traffic and financial restrictions) enabled a settlement to be reached for nearly 20m Euros of outstanding debt between Republika Srpska (Bosnia), Macedonian Railways and HZ. This was made possible thanks to the solutions provided by Croatian Railways.
Of the total amount concerned (the equivalent of 150m Euros as calculated in 2003), only 30m Euros are still without a reimbursement plan or protocol. All previous and existing protocols respect the rules on financial flows, daily operations or specific cases set out in UIC Leaflet 311.
These agreements are the last in a series of steps to resolve the issues first sparked 20 years ago between Central and Eastern European Railways.
Mrs Lim, UIC Finance Director, who worked with the expert support of MAV (Messrs Kovacs and Palvolgyi), is confident that discussions on the subject will be possible with other debtors such as BDZ, ZS, HSH and their creditors before the end of the year. A creditors’ forum is scheduled to be held in late October to endeavour to find common multilateral solutions to resolve the remaining issues.
Continuing positive relations between Central and Eastern European Railways, with the aim of increasing transport via freight corridors, new passenger products and international partnerships, are indicative of the positive attitude on the part of the railways concerned.