RIA takes over management of the Prague Main Railway Station
Management of the largest station in the country is taken over by the Railway Infrastructure Administration. At the stroke of midnight from Sunday to Monday the contract with Grandi Stazioni expired. This happened only because of the delay of Grandi Stazioni to execute and complete the reconstruction, which was supposed to be completed already in 2013. The explicit goal for coming days is that the change of the station management in no way affects the operation of the station and passengers and lessees. All steps of the new administrator will lead to maintaining continuous operation.
Representatives of RIA repeatedly informed the management of Grandi Stazioni that the proposed amendment to the contract would be contrary to the law, which was confirmed also by the requested opinion of the Office for the Protection of Competition, which identified it as a material contractual amendment, therefore inadmissible. By receiving the lease contract, RIA has no contractual or legal obligation to conclude the amendment. “Since July, we have become the owner of the station, our Italian colleagues had been notified of the violation of the law in case of extension of cooperation. Therefore, the outcome of the situation cannot be surprising for Grandi Stazioni. RIA cannot really be exposed to a legal offence. We manage the state assets and we must proceed with due diligence,“ explains Deputy General Director of RIA for Assets Management, Tomáš Drmola.
“The priority for us was to address all subtenants at the station and inform them about the current situation. We offer them a new lease agreement since the original, concluded with Grandi Stazioni, have ceased to exist. All contracts will obviously undergo revisions, however, we do not expect major problems. We have been discussing with the overwhelming majority, clearly declaring our interest in continuing cooperation,“ adds Drmola.
RIA is not a contractual successor of Grandi Stazioni, therefore sublessees are offered new lease agreements, the content of which is not the return of the space to its original state, but rather maintaining continuous operation of the services offered.
In the coming days, RIA will become thoroughly familiar with the current state of the entire building, only then it can decide on the next steps. The station management will be fully within its competence. Already now, it is ensuring the operation of more than a thousand stations. For these purposes, it has qualified and experienced personnel. The main aim is to urgently prepare a realistic plan for repairing the historically protected Fanta building and thus return a presentable appearance to the historic station building.
The contract between the Czech Railways and Grandi Stazioni was signed on December 17, 2003 for a fixed period. The main station building was transferred to the RIA, including this contract until the sale of the enterprise, which took place this year.
RIA is a national organization that manages the railway tracks owned by the state and operates as the owner and operator of the tracks within the meaning of the Railway Act. It ensures operation, operability, modernization and development of railway infrastructure and the station management. It also allocates the railway infrastructure capacity at the national railways and regional railways owned by the Czech Republic. With almost 18,000 employees it is one of the largest Czech companies.
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