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EDITIONS
Tuesday, 8 October, 2002, 19:19 GMT 20:19 UK
Thousands more Telekom job cuts
Deutsche Telekom HQ in Bonn
Company says no compulsory redundancies in Germany
German telecoms giant Deutsche Telekom has said it might cut as many as 16,500 more jobs than earlier announced.

A spokesman said there was a realistic prospect that up to 46,000 jobs, about one-fifth of the workforce, could be shed by the end of 2005.

The majority of posts, 35,000, would go in Germany.

Last week the group said that it expected to cut a total of 29,500 jobs.

Staff have protected status

The daily newspaper Die Welt had reported that there could be additional cuts that would bring the total number to as many as 55,000.

But a spokesman described that figure as a "worst case scenario".

The former state monopoly, the world's number four telecoms carrier, has said it will cut its workforce in Germany without compulsory redundancies.

It is prevented from making radical cuts including forced layoffs because many staff enjoy protected civil servant status.

Struggle to cut debt

Deutsche Telekom has pledged to cut its 64bn euros ($62.6bn; 40.3bn) debt burden to 50bn euros by the end of next year.

But the planned sale of its cable TV network, one of the central planks of its cost cutting strategy, promises to bring in less than expected.

Bids are thought to be in the range of 2-2.5bn euros, well short of the 3.5bn euros the group had been targeting.

The group has been without a chief executive since Ron Sommer was ousted in July.

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 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Andrew Walker
"Deutsche Telekom is struggling to reduce its debts of more than $60bn"
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