State-owned rail company ZSSK Cargo is facing bankruptcy thanks to the demands of one of its creditor banks, which is calling in a debt of EUR 13.5 million by the end of August.
General director of Cargo, Pavol Durinik, says that available finances of the company do not allow it to pay back such a large sum of money in one go along with salaries, and so the company could face collapse. The management has therefore called on transport minister Jan Figel to step in with a helping hand.
Minister Figel has given his assurance that he will do everything he can to resolve the problem. The ministry recently started a programme of revitalisation in the company, with hundreds of redundancies and cost-cutting, but the private bank is not willing to wait on results.
The Ministry of Finance, on the other hand, is not willing to help the company out more. It already received EUR 170 million in assistance under the former government, which it was supposed to start repaying at the beginning of this year. It was, however, granted a period of grace by the current government.
Finance ministry spokesman Martin Jaros announced that the MoF was not willing to step in and help the company sort out its debt problems with commercial banks. Cargo owes money to seven other banks, and they might start panicking and try to call int heir debts prematurely as well.