(Greece) – The unions who support TrainOSE and OSE railway employees have announced that the workers have been undergoing a series of strikes that began on July 8, 2016 and will continue through Tuesday, July 12. Last week, Greek rail and metro workers staged a walkout on Wednesday, July 6, 2016 to protest the binding bid Trenitalia placed for the privatization of TRAINOSE, the company that operates all the trains in Greece.
The strike is expected to impact intercity trains, the suburban railway in Athens, Thessaloniki, and Patra. as well as several routes from the Athens International Airport. However, there are a few routes in these areas that will operate on a limited schedule. For instance, the Metro Line 3 in Athens, also known as the Blue Line, will only operate back and forth from Douksis Plakendias Station to Agia Marina Station. The bus lines between Kiato and Patra will also not be operational. There will also be rolling strikes on all passenger and commercial service within the entire train network. All TrainOSE services will not start back up again until some time on Tuesday, July 12. Anyone who has advanced tickets to travel on these affected lines will either receive a refund or a voucher to travel once the strike ends. It won’t be possible to book travel tickets for affected routes until the strike ends.
Trenitalia was the sole bidder for the Greek company. It was expected that another company would also make a bid, but a final offer never came through before the deadline. Once the bid was placed, the two parties entered into talks that would nail down the final details. Privatization deals such as these have been required by the international creditors in order for Greece to receive badly needed bailout funds. Other privatization deals have occurred for the Port of Piraeus, several regional airports in Greece, and the abandoned Hellinikon Airport.