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Germany's Siemens to slash 15,000 jobs over next year

 
 
 
 
 
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A Siemens employee works on a rotor of a gas turbine in a plant in Berlin

The German powerhouse in electronics and electrical engineering, Siemens AG, is planning to axe 15,000 jobs over the next year as the economic crisis in Europe continues to worsen.

“The ongoing and planned workforce adjustments in the context of Siemens 2014 are about 15,000 positions worldwide, of which about 5,000 are in Germany,” the Munich-based company said in a statement on Sunday.

The decision is part of a six-billion-euro (USD 8.1 billion) cost cutting program, the statement said, adding, “We are sticking to the rule: first we speak with the employees, then we go public.”

This came after Europe’s largest engineering company fired its former chief executive, Peter Loescher, due to declining profitability earlier this year.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has insisted that the country is experiencing good economic performance as well as low unemployment rates.

However, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has halved its 2013 economic growth forecast for Germany to 0.3 percent.

In addition, a recent report by the German Federal Labor Agency showed the country’s unemployment level rose by 7,000 to 2.943 million in August despite forecasts by economists of a drop of 5,000 claims.

Europe plunged into financial crisis in early 2008. Insolvency now threatens heavily debt-ridden countries such as Greece, Portugal, Italy, Ireland and Spain.

The worsening debt crisis has forced EU governments to adopt harsh austerity measures and tough economic reforms, which have triggered incidents of social unrest and massive protests in many European countries.

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