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State demands Nokia return €41 million

Nokia has been given one week to return €41 million of the subsidies it received from the western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia and NRW bank. The reasoning behind this demand is that Nokia created fewer jobs since 2002 than it promised.

“The facts that were available at that time do not support the bank and state government’s attempts to recall the subsidies,” a Nokia spokeswoman told Berliner Morgenpost.

The Nokia plant in Bochum will be closed mid-year, eliminating 2,300 full-time jobs and 1,000 traineeships. Much of the production will be moved to Romania. This move has sparked large protests and widespread criticism on the part of politicians.

In a contribution to Frankfurter Rundschau, Federal Minister for Finance and SPD member Peer Steinbrück said that Nokia has “economic tunnel vision,” because it is closing the Bochum plant, not because it “made losses, but because it did not make enough profit.” He also said Nokia’s actions lack “respect and dignity for the workers who gave Nokia years of good work.”

The public prosecutor’s office has also started some preliminary investigations as to whether Nokia committed subsidy fraud.

POLICE

German pensioner loses €20k in cash after leaving it on car roof

It's not unusual for Germans to carry a lot of cash. But for one man in North Rhine-Westphalia, taking out banknotes turned into a nightmare.

German pensioner loses €20k in cash after leaving it on car roof
Germany is known for being a nation of cash lovers. Photo: DPA

The 69-year-old man in Witten, near Bohum in western Germany, withdrew €20,000 of cash from a bank last Friday in order to buy a new car, police said in a statement.

He then placed the envelope with the cash on the roof of his current car. However, he forgot about the envelope and drove off.

A short time later, police said the man noticed that the envelope had disappeared.

Police are urgently appealing for anyone who finds the money to hand it into a lost property office or to the police so that the large sum can be reunited with the pensioner.

The man withdrew the cash at around 3.40pm on Friday, November 22nd from a bank at Ruhrstraße 45 in Witten. He drove off in the direction of Husemannstraße.

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Police appealed on Twitter for anyone with information to get in touch.

A nation of cash lovers

Although things are changing slowly as card payments become more popular, Germany is known for its Bargeld (cash) culture, and it's not unusual to pay for expensive items with cash.

READ ALSO: Will the German love affair with cash ever end?

In fact, hardly any other nation likes paying with banknotes as much as the Germans do.

According to Barkow Consulting, only about every 20th payment in Germany is processed by credit card. Statistically speaking, founder Peter Barkow said each German citizen keeps €2,200 cash at home.

Germans carried an average of €103 in their wallets in 2016, a study by the European Central Bank revealed, compared with an average of only €65 in the Eurozone.

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