LISTEN LIVE KPR - On Air: Listen Live to classical, jazz and NPR news Schedule LATEST
NEWSCAST
KPR 2 - On Air: Listen live to KPR's all talk-radio service, KPR2 Recordings

Share this page              

UK Government Is Selling Its Share Of Eurostar

Eurostar unveiled its e320 fleet in November 2014 at St. Pancras Station in London.

The British government says it is selling its stake in Eurostar, the high-speed rail service linking London to Paris and Brussels. The government is selling its full 40 percent stake in the company to a group of international investors for $1.1 billion.

The move is part of an effort by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne to sell a number of national assets to bring in $20 billion by the year 2020.

But The Associated Press reports that it's leading to criticism that the treasury chief is selling the family silver. The news service quotes rail union officials complaining the policy of selling off national assets harks back to the 1980s, when the government of former conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher launched a major privatization policy.

According to Reuters, Osborne said the price tag exceeded expectations. The buyers are Canadian-based Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec and the UK's Hermes Infrastructure.

The deal, however, could fall through if the other current co-owners of Eurostar, the national railways of France and Belgium, opt to buy the British stake. The Guardian reports that France's SNCF, which owns 55 percent of Eurostar, and Belgium's SNCB, which owns 5 percent, have about three weeks to decide whether to exercise the option, but are not expected to do so.

Eurostar began carrying passengers through a tunnel under the English Channel in 1994, after many delays and budget over-runs. According to the BBC, Eurostar has since carried more than 150 million passengers — more than 10 million in 2013 alone.

Still, the venture has never been the runaway success as first predicted for a number of reasons, including the introduction of low-cost airlines, cheaper ferries and the global recession.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Tower Frequencies

91.5 FM KANU Lawrence, Topeka, Kansas City
89.7 FM KANH Emporia
99.5 FM K258BT Manhattan
97.9 FM K250AY Manhattan (KPR2)
91.3 FM  KANV Junction City, Olsburg
89.9 FM K210CR Atchison
90.3 FM KANQ Chanute
96.1 FM K241AR Lawrence (KPR2)

See the Coverage Map for more details

Contact Us

Kansas Public Radio
1120 West 11th Street
Lawrence, KS 66044
Download Map
785-864-4530 (Main Line)
888-577-5268 (Toll Free)
contact@kansaspublicradio.org