By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (Filed: 27/08/2005)
A French judge has ordered Nestle to re-open a loss-making factory, delighting France's anti-globalisation radicals but setting a precedent that could scare away foreign investment.
The Swiss food giant has been told to re-launch production at the chocolate and Nescafe plant outside Marseilles, employing 427 workers.
It was closed in June after nine years of mounting problems. Capacity usage had fallen to 30pc, chiefly due to falling demand for a strain of decaf coffee produced at the site.I love the incentive to invest in France on offer here. The only way to shut down a fatory in France it would seem is for the entire company to go bankrupt. Add that to the list of reasons why companies are failing to line up to spend money on factories and offices in France. You have to love the confusion expressed by the Nestle spokesman
"We have fully complied at every step of the way, even though it is an extremely long and complex process. We've asked the court to specify what the ruling means because we don't understand what we are supposed to have done wrong."Nestle clearly failed to understand that the French law is deliberately written/interpreted to make it impossible to comply with the process if you are a profitable multinational.