Following protests over Nokia’s plan to close its plant in Bochum, Germany, and move production to Romania, the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia has told Nokia that it must repay the 41.3 million euros ($60.5 million) it received in subsidies.
The Economic Ministry for the German state reportedly said that Nokia received the subsidies to change a TV plant into a cell phone factory in 1999, and now that it plans to close the plant, Nokia needs to repay the state.
In a statement released today, Nokia said that it is “astonished” by the state’s notice. The company said, in a statement: “Since 1999 Nokia has invested more than 350 million euros in the Bochum site, well above the amount stipulated in the agreement. Since 1999, Nokia received subsidies via NRW Bank totaling 41.3 million euros. Thus, Nokia’s investments in the factory clearly exceeded the sum it received from the state.”