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From our correspondent in Germany

Nokia relocation causes protests in Germany

de Dani Rockhoff, transl. A. Comanciu     HotNews.ro
Luni, 21 ianuarie 2008, 14:11 English | Regional Europe

The political fury sparked recently by trade unions and workers of the Nokia factory in Bochum, Germany triggers reactions from German citizens as well. After the Nokia decision to relocate its factory from Bochum, Germany to Cluj, Romania earlier this month, the German citizens plan to boycott Nokia sales. Moreover, they condemn the lack of political reaction in their country.

Some Germans consider Nokia's relocating strategy a scam which at consumer level translates into a black spot for the brand image. On the other hand, Nokia is building its Romanian factory with German companies and the federal government in Berlin claims the money invested in research back from the Finnish group.

The first employees to be laid off come from among permanent and temporary personnel, Westfallische Rundschau informed in its online edition on Saturday. As a reaction, German political parties seem to adopt a populist position, as they support their citizens in the Nokia scandal. Another newspaper, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reads that the scandal triggered consternation and fury among citizens.

After German politicians accused the EU for having subsidized Nokia's relocation, European Commission President, Jose Manuel Barroso denied the allegations. Moreover, he added that those remaining without a job in Germany will receive compensation from the EU.

However, Germans in Bochum accuse Eastern Europeans for stealing their jobs and transnational companies for taking advantage of the money invested by local budgets. Finnally, those who lose in this affair are the people, who are found without a job.

Even if Germans, both politicians and citizens made so much fuss about it, Nokia officials do not seem to make any other decision than the one officially announced. Still, Germans all over declared that they plan to boycott Nokia sales in their country.

However, Nokia officials seem to consider that the boycott cannot affect sales too much, as the Romanian market will offer the Nokia enough benefits as it is: low salaries, skilled personnel and a growing economic market in need of communications development. Thus, Romania is an attractive location for Nokia as foreign direct investments in 2006 alone amounted 34.5 billion euro.




















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