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Merkel Ally Rules Out State Railway Sale Amid Train Delays

A top ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel ruled out a sale of state-owned railway Deutsche Bahn AG as a solution to the company’s personnel shortage that’s led to delays and cancellation of some scheduled services.

Volker Kauder, the parliamentary caucus chairman of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, said he prefers to maintain Deutsche Bahn’s current ownership structure. Personnel shortages at rail facilities, including in the western city of Mainz, have disrupted train schedules in recent days.

“A privatization wouldn’t necessarily increase the service capacity of the railway,” Kauder said in an interview today in Berlin. He said such problems wouldn’t be ruled out if portions of Deutsche Bahn were under private ownership.

The German government has backed off plans that emerged in the 1990s to sell part of Deutsche Bahn, which remains under complete government ownership.

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