Merkel: nuclear exit will create more jobs than destroys

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Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday that Germany's planned abandonment of nuclear energy would ultimately create more employment than it destroys, after announced job losses in the sector.

"All in all, the new energy policy will create more jobs than will be lost," she told reporters, after French nuclear giant Areva became the latest of several big energy companies to announce it was axing posts.

Merkel said that the announcements were company decisions which were "the result of long-term developments and are not related to a single cause."

Following Japan's massive March 11 Fukushima disaster, the German government decided to permanently switch off Germany's eight oldest reactors and to close by 2022 nine others currently on line.

EON and RWE, Germany's two biggest power suppliers, have both cited Berlin's decision to abandon nuclear power as the reason for wide restructuring plans.

EON plans to cut up to 11,000 jobs worldwide, while press reports say losses at RWE could reach 8,000. Both groups also face, however, profitability problems with their gas- and coal-fired plants as well as with subsidiaries abroad.

Areva also plans to cut up to 1,500 jobs in Germany.

© 2011 AFP

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