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Eurotunnel boss suggests cut in tariffs

PARIS, Dec 5 (AFP) – The head of Eurotunnel, an enterprise facing a shareholder revolt, suggested Friday that company lower its fees for the rail link it operates between Britain and France in order to spur more traffic.

“Rather than increasing fees in the tunnel, shouldn’t they be cut? But how can we cut tunnel fees when the company is under pressure? That’s the problem,” Eurotunnel chief executive Richard Shirrefs said in an interview with French radio station BFM.

The company said in October that in the coming years revenue would not be enough to help pay off the massive debt it piled up building the tunnel under the Channel.

Concerns about the company’s gloomy outlook have led some shareholders to organise efforts to convene a special general meeting to oust the current management.

Shirrefs has defended himself saying the shareholders seeking his resignation do not have a clear strategy.

He told BFM: “I’m trying to lay the basis for an intelligent discussion around Eurotunnel’s problems, which is naturally part of the discussion over the French-British rail industry.”

He said there were too many actors in the industry and too little traffic.

On Wednesday a Paris commercial court ordered the company to convene a special general shareholders’ session, as sought by those contesting the company’s strategy, at the time of company’s annual general meeting in April.

Shirrefs said he aimed to provided a clearer strategy at the meeting.


Subject: French news