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Eurostar Near Collapse, Needs Help from France - UK

Eurostar

Eurostar, the high-speed rail link between the UK and mainland Europe, could collapse in the next few months due to the drop in passenger numbers unless national governments come to the rescue.

Eurostar has seen a 95% drop in travelers since last March when coronavirus hit the UK. It has been running just two return services a day and has warned that it could run out of cash this summer.

Eurostar announced, “We are encouraged by the government-backed loans that have been awarded to airlines and would once again ask that this kind of support be extended to international high-speed rail.”

The French state, which the majority owner of Eurostar alongside Belgium and two pension funds, has already stumped up €200million (£178million) of funding, according to Express. And French transport minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari said that they are in the process of working with the British on more aid mechanisms for Eurostar. The UK's Department for Transport told Euronews there was currently no agreement in place but added it continued to discuss Eurostar’s financial situation with the French government.

Today, Eurostar is controlled by the French state railway SNCF. The French government has a majority 55 percent stake in Eurostar, and Belgium has 5 percent.

The UK government sold its 40 percent stake in Eurostar for £757m before the general election in 2015, reports Financial Times.

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