Peugeot Citroen dramas attract political spotlight

The Government is stepping in to help soften the blow after Peugeot announced major cuts.  Photo / AP
The Government is stepping in to help soften the blow after Peugeot announced major cuts. Photo / AP

French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said President Francois Hollande's new Government is "looking for solutions" to help prop up car sales and soften PSA Peugeot Citroen's decision to slash jobs and close a factory near Paris.

Europe's second-biggest carmaker last week announced plans to cut 14,000 jobs and shut a car plant for the first time in two decades to stem widening operating losses.

Moscovici and his colleagues will work to "greatly improve the quality of this plan, which in its current state isn't acceptable".

The Government's goal is to save more of Peugeot's jobs, ensure there are no forced firings, soften the blow for the workers involved and keep the Aulnay plant operating as an industrial site, Moscovici said. The Government will also announce measures next week to boost French car sales and prop up the entire industry.

Hollande's comments were meant to be "firm and constructive" toward Peugeot.

"I'm not here to destabilise, I'm here to build," Moscovici said.

Hollande said he would lean on Peugeot to rework the plan, consider incentives to spur sales of environmentally friendly cars and study the possibility of providing credit for vehicle purchases, though he won't adopt cash incentives as his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy did in 2009.

- NZ Herald

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