DHL Germany deal worries firm’s Belgian staff
21 April 2004
BRUSSELS – Staff working in Belgium for international courier firm DHL have expressed concern at a European Commission decision to allow the German authorities to give the firm millions of euros to develop its operations in the German city of Leipzig.
Belgian workers fear the decision could push DHL to close all or part of its major logistical centre at Zaventem airport outside of Brussels and re-locate to the east German city.
Such a move could mean thousands of job losses in Belgium.
On Tuesday the Commission said the German authorities could give DHL EUR 70.8 million to encourage the firm to develop its logistical operations in Leipzig.
It was allowed to do this because under the terms of the EU’s so-called structural funds the former east German city is classified as an ‘Objective 1’ area.
This means its GDP is below 75 percent of the EU average, which in turns means it is allowed to benefit from particularly hefty ‘state aid’ payments.
Relations between DHL and the Belgian authorities are already strained.
The firm has said it wants to expand its Zaventem operations but it has run into fierce opposition from local residents and politicians who fear such a move would mean increased aircraft noise.
[Copyright Expatica 2004]
Subject: Belgian news