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German utility company RWE to cut thousands of more jobs

Media reports say German utility company RWE is planning to cut a considerable number of jobs in its power plant division in Germany. The firm has starkly criticized subsidies for renewable energy generation.

German regional newspaper Rheinische Post reported Wednesday that the country's second-largest electricity and gas company was about to lay off 2,500 people employed in its power plant division in the country.

There had been no official confirmation yet from the executive at the time of printing, with the media report referring to statements made during a recent staff council meeting in Alsdorf. The management only said it would provide details about possible job cuts on November 14 when RWE was due to present third-quarter and nine-month results.

The Rheinische Post said it remained unclear for the time being whether more of the company's 14,500 jobs in the division would be axed abroad.

Brussels poised to act

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EU to regulate energy subsidies

Together with nine other European utility giants, RWE has demanded that the European Union should revise its overall energy policies, and has been particularly critical of what it believes are inappropriate state subsidies for electricity generated through renewable energy sources.

RWE has frequently pointed to the impact of steadily rising energy prices for both companies and households through special taxes and surcharges. It added that retroactive policy changes had put off investors deploring insufficient long-term planning security.

The EU executive has been aware of this problem for a long time and on Tuesday issued new guidelines that could eventually drastically curtail costly and controversial subsidies for renewable energy, opening the way for state backing of gas or even coal-fired electricity generation projects deemed necessary for ensuring back-up capacities.

hg/tj (dpa, AFP)

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