German rail chaos becomes campaign issue six weeks before election
BERLIN (AFP) - German railway chaos that has hit a major train hub for a week and left commuters fuming has turned into a campaign issue six weeks before a general election.
The dispute centres on cost-cutting at rail operator Deutsche Bahn (DB), with politicians variously blaming a decade-old free market shift for the problems or arguing it hasn't gone far enough.
The pro-business Free Democrats' election candidate Rainer Bruederle lamented "an international embarrassment" and charged that "an entire region is being held hostage".
"A company facing open-market competition couldn't afford something like this," he told local newspaper the Allgemeine Zeitung, adding that privatisation and an IPO should be considered.