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article imageMacron 'inflexible' on opposition to Nokia job cuts

By AFP     Sep 22, 2017 in World

French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday told Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipila of his "total inflexibility" to plans by telecoms giant Nokia to cut nearly 600 jobs in France.

The Finnish group said this month it planned to reduce its headcount in France by 597, a little over 10 percent of its total workforce in the country.

"I told the prime minister of my concerns over this issue and my total inflexibility," Macron told reporters after meeting with Sipila.

"Nokia's recent announcement does not conform with the commitments it had then made to the government of France," Macron said.

"I am pro-European ...but I believe in pledges .. and Nokia has not indicated that it will keep its word, and that is serious."

Macron said he hoped that the situation would become clearer in the coming weeks, adding that they would be in line with previous commitments.

Nokia, which no longer makes handsets having sold that business to Microsoft, bought French-American telecoms equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent in 2015 in a deal that was expected to lead to savings.

The cuts in France will be focused on administrative and support services and will not effect research and development as it refocuses on high-speed 5G telecom networks, cybersecurity and internet-linked appliances, the group said.

Nokia is aiming to make 1.2 billion euros (1.4 billion dollars) in total cost savings by the end of 2018 following net losses of 766 million euros last year.

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