French owners of Eurostar, SNCF, seek UK help with bail-out

The French government has already stated its intention to bail-out the troubled Eurostar. “The state will be there for Eurostar in order to maintain these strategic connections between the two countries,” French Transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari told a parliamentary hearing, adding the support “will most certainly involve the SNCF.”

Whilst many British travellers might be unaware of the fact, Eurostar is a subsidiary of the French rail operator SNCF, with 40% of shares being owned by Canadian investment companies and 5% by Belgium’s national rail company.

No Briton owns a single share in Eurostar. The Channel Tunnel itself is owned by Getlink, a Paris-based company.

However French Transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari revealed on Thursday that he is in talks with London on how the UK can help with the proposed bail-out, a fact confirmed by SNCF's chief executive.

The situation is critical, thanks to the health conditions in many countries which are added to Brexit. We are discussing with the French and English governments. We hope to arrive at a solution to aid the company.

Jean-Pierre Farandou, chief executive of SNCF

At present, Eurostar is running just one train a day in each direction, at an average of 10% of passenger capacity.

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Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright is publishing editor and Brussels correspondent of EU Today.

An experienced journalist and author, he specialises in environment, energy, and defence.

He also has more than 10 years experience of working as a staff member in the EU institutions, working with political groups and MEPs in various policy areas.

Gary's latest book WANTED MAN: THE STORY OF MUKHTAR ABLYAZOV: A Manual for Criminals on How to Avoid Punishment in the EU is currently available from Amazon

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