Feeds

Germany to Nokia: Give us back our subsidies

€41m plus €18m interest, thanks

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Germany's western state of North-Rhine Westphalia (NRW) has told Nokia to repay all its subsidies plus interest by 31 March or face legal action.

The German state paid €41m in aid for Nokia's mobile phone factory in Bochum, under the condition that at least 2,800 jobs would be created. However, the Finnish mobile giant is to close its plant by 30 June and move its operation to Romania.

The closure of the plant infuriated many German unions and politicians and fuelled a strong anti-Nokia and anti-Finnish sentiment in the country with many consumers turning their backs on Nokia products.

But Nokia says it has no choice. Labour and non-wage labour costs in Germany are not competitive enough for the mass-production of Nokia products. In Romania, the average monthly salaries will be about one-tenth of the average wage of workers at Bochum.

Nokia employed more than 2,300 people in Bochum in exchange for EU and state subsidies. The company says it fulfilled all the necessary conditions for the subsidies, but NRW believes Nokia fell short of the required numbers by 200 to 400 posts between 2002 and 2005.

On Tuesday, the state government formally demanded that the company pay back €41m in subsidies, plus €18m in interest.

The two sides are expected to negotiate in the next few days. State Finance Minister Christa Thoben has punted the idea of opening up a technology business park with Nokia as the main investor.

Nokia received more bad news today after components supplier Texas Instruments Inc warned of deteriorating conditions in the wireless industry. Nokia shares dropped below €20. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Apple's iPhone 6 first-day sales are MEANINGLESS, mutters analyst
Big weekend queues only represent fruity firm's supply
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Bill Gates, drugs and the internet: Top 10 Larry Ellison quotes
'I certainly never expected to become rich ... this is surreal'
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
EMC, HP blockbuster 'merger' shocker comes a cropper
Stand down, FTC... you can put your feet up for a bit
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.