\r\nUnder the proposals, the state will take over the debt in two tranches - \u20ac25bn in 2020 and \u20ac10bn in 2022.\r\nPhilippe says the government will also increase investment by \u20ac200m above the current \u20ac3.6bn a year from 2022 onwards to \u201cenable trains to run more regularly on a more efficient network.\u201d\r\n\u201cToday SNCF is nearly 30% more expensive than its competitors,\u201d Philippe says. \u201cBy 2026 the competitiveness gap must be reduced by two-thirds. It is the job of SNCF\u2019s management to implement this commitment from the beginning of next year.\u201d\r\n\u201cWe have chosen to save the public railway service. I said the state would take responsibility for giving SNCF a viable economic model in the long-term, so it could exist without living on credit, and that\u2019s what we are going to do.\u201d\r\n\u201cWe will put an end to 30 years of indecision regarding SNCF\u2019s debt. Since the early 1990s, no government has addressed this problem.\u201d\r\nThe debt relief offer was announced following a meeting between Philippe and the rail unions. The secretary general of the Unsa says his union will now be looking to suspend upcoming strike action, although the CGT union has pledged to \u201ccontinue the fight\u201d against the government\u2019s plans.