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Business Words in the News
Friday 14 February 2003
Vocabulary from the business news. Listen to and read the report then find explanations of difficult words below.

  France Telecom payphone
France Telecom job cuts
Summary: The French telecommunications business, France Telecom, is to cut thirteen thousand jobs worldwide. French trade unions fear more jobs could be lost. The job cuts are part of a rescue plan under which the state-controlled company is to receive extra money backed by the government. Patrick Bartlett sent this report.
   
The News Listen  
  France Telecom is not alone among Europe's telecommunications firms in announcing large-scale cutbacks. It's part of a massive blood-letting in an industry which invested wildly during the stock market boom, only to see its assets crash as new wireless services failed to live up to the hype. France Telecom's new boss, Thierry Breton, has said seven and a half of the thirteen thousand job cuts will be in France, the remainder at its overseas businesses. Still majority-owned by the French government, France Telecom has been struggling to reduce a seventy billion euro debt mountain. To avoid a threatened break-up of the business the government agreed a complex refinancing package. But the deal involves a fifteen billion euro cash injection, and may yet fall foul of regulators in Brussels. They're investigating whether it breaches EU state aid rules. Among its many overseas operations, France Telecom owns the Orange mobile phone company in Britain, and Mobistar in Belgium. Late last year, it provoked a row between the French and German governments, when, amid mounting losses, it pulled out of Germany's Mobilcom. The move left thousands of workers there in limbo, just days before Germany's federal elections.


 
   
The Words Listen
 
  Cutbacks
Reductions in amounts of money, people and resources

 
   
  blood-letting
The former medical practice of treating sick people by removing some of their blood. Here used metaphorically – the removal of people from the ‘sick’ industry in an attempt to make it healthy.

 
   
  live up to
to keep to the high standards set by

 
   
  hype
the promotion of someone or something by using intensive or extravagant methods of publicity

 
   
  struggling
trying very hard but gradually failing

 
   
  cash injection
input of extra money

 
   
  fall foul of
if you do something which falls foul of someone or something you do something which gets you into trouble with them

 
   
  breaches
breaks

 
   
  in limbo
if you are in limbo you are in a situation where you do not know what will happen next and you have no control over things.

 
   
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