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TSSA Demands Government Action To Save Eurostar  

19 January 2021

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has called on the Government to "stop playing fast and loose" with Eurostar's future after the channel tunnel train operator called for a bailout as a result of the collapse in rail travel to and from the continent.  

Eurostar has been running just a handful of services a day and is warning it could run out of cash this summer, having seen passenger numbers drop by 95 per cent since the start of the pandemic in March last year. 

Trade union boss, Cortes, said: “The Government must stop playing fast and loose with Eurostar and step-in now to safeguard the future of this vital green transport link to the continent.  

“Our union has made Ministers aware of the perilous situation at Eurostar time and again, sadly they have taken little heed. I hope they will now listen to the company because the situation could not be more serious. 

“Boris Johnson and Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, must act right now to save this vital service. When George Osborne was Chancellor the Tories were daft enough to sell off our stake in Eurostar to privateers. Frankly that was an act of vandalism.  

“Now, in return for financial support to keep the business afloat, we must regain that share in ownership which the Governments of France and Belgium still enjoy. Only by bringing Eurostar back into public hands can we guarantee the future of our green gateway to Europe.” 

*Eurostar runs services through the Channel Tunnel. The French government has a majority 55 per cent stake in Eurostar, and Belgium 5 per cent. The UK government sold its 40 per cent stake for £750m, ahead of the 2015 general election.  

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