The Dutch electronics giant Philips is to cut hundreds of jobs, blaming the global financial crisis.
Philips employs some 32,000 people around the world, 1600 of them are to lose their jobs.
The announcement comes as Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende vowed a six billion euro economic stimulus package to ease the economic squeeze:
“ This boost to the economy is a direct result of the economic crisis. By giving the extra money, the cabinet wants to give business some breathing space. We feel that tax relief for companies will enable more investment. And for smaller companies the government promises to pay bills quicker.”
Meanwhile, the state-owned retail sector of Fortis and ABN AMRO are to merge to form a new bank.
Fortis was bought by the Dutch government for 16.8 billion euros in October after it lost the confidence of investors.