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German state seeks $92M from Nokia

BERLIN - A German state has asked Nokia Corp. to return subsidies — with interest, for a total of nearly $92 million — that it got to build a cell phone factory it now plans to close.

Finland-based Nokia, the world's top cell phone maker, announced in January that it plans to close its manufacturing plant in Bochum, in the industrial Ruhr region — a move that likely will result in the loss of 2,300 jobs.

German unions and politicians are infuriated at the decision. The state government in North Rhine-Westphalia said last month it was demanding Nokia repay some $63 million in subsidies paid in 1998 and 1999.

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