Romanian rail boss sacked after minister kept waiting for train

After being forced to wait 50 minutes for a train, Romania’s new transport minister said he would fire the head of the national train operator.

Minister Felix Stroe said he would dismiss Marius Chiper, who is the general manager of the state-owned operator and infrastructure company Caile Ferate Romane (CFR).

Marius Chiper has been a life-long railway engineer (Railway Pro)

The minister launched his thunderbolt after being forced to wait 50 minutes for a train to a motorway construction site near the town of Deva on Tuesday morning (24 October).

The Ministry later played down the irritation factor in the decision, saying in a press release that the sacking "came as a result of an analysis the minister carried out from the moment he took the office, and reflected the poor management of the company and of the railway network, the unjustified delays that are not being communicated to passengers on time, as well as the situation within CFR Infrastructure".

Stroe later added that hundreds of millions of euros had been invested in the Bucharest-Constanta line, which was now the most modern in Romania.

However, he also admitted that he did feel Chiper had disrespected him. "I caught Mr Chiper’s attention yesterday at the Transport Ministry, and he knew I was coming to Deva, and yet this train was delayed almost hour," he added.

A little while after the Transport Ministry’s press release, CFR announced that Chiper had decided to resign "for personal reasons". He had been the interim head of the company since 2015.

The director of the Bucharest Railways Regional Department, Laurentiu Maraloi, also stepped down.

Top image: Romania’s transport minister (left) finally reached the Lugoj-Deva highway site yesterday (Transport Ministry)

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