In Belgium, Google’s datacenter is 120 jobs promised, but … 40 positions filled

by bold-lichterman

In the crosshairs of European authorities, Google is also singled out for the many advantages granted by member countries to attract the American giant to their soil. A situation illustrated by its data center installed near Mons, in Belgium.

Thursday April 25, the european commission reacted through a press release to eight proposals unveiled by Google mid-April in order to put an end to the investigation for abuse of a dominant position of which he is accused. One way for the American giant to avoid a fine of up to 10% of its annual turnover.

In addition, the Mountain View firm is also in the sights of Europe as regards its privacy policy or its tax optimization practices. A point that Eric Schmidt, President of Google, again defended during a recent BBC interview.

Nothing that does not favorably serve the relationship between Brussels and the firm …

Which today seems to have difficulty in justifying the advantageous conditions it enjoys when it settles in member countries. Belgian weekly Sightings thus highlighted the case of the datacenter installed in the vicinity of Mons since 2010. A space built on an industrial site of 85 hectares, one of the largest in Wallonia, purchased by the American group for only 13 euros per square meter.

120 jobs promised, only 40 actually created

If Google has just released 300 million euros to double the size of its data center, which brings the total investment to 500 million euros, will employ around 300 workers and make the region one of the key digital centers in Belgium, the weekly points out the few jobs created in the long term by this installation. Behind the figure of 120 on-site jobs advanced by the communication service of Google Belgium would hide, once the temporary workers and subcontractors have been removed, that 40 full-time equivalents. And the number of skilled jobs could be counted on the fingers of one hand.

Google would employ an average of 1.5 people per hectare, against a general average of 6.3 for the rest of the zone. An obvious shortfall in tax revenue, especially since Google already benefits from the notional interest system, a “tax mechanism specific to Belgium allows companies to reduce their tax base by deducting a percentage of their funds clean, as if it were a loan ”according to Le Vif. In 2011, Crystal Computing, the Belgian subsidiary created in August 2006 at the launch of the data center project with a capital of 18,550 euros, saw its equity increased to 335 million euros by the parent company. “On a profit of 8.6 million euros, for a turnover of 107 million invoiced to its parent company Google Ireland, Crystal Computing thus paid in 2011 very exactly zero euros of tax” concludes the weekly.

What to make proud Eric Schmidt, who, considering already paying “a lot of taxes” last December, evoked on the British airwaves the benefits of Google in terms of employment to justify the tax optimization policy of his company …