French government “cannot accept” Peugeot’s 8,000 layoffs image

The French government refuses to accept Peugeot’s plan to cut 8,000 jobs and has appointed an expert to analyze the company’s situation.

Social Affairs minister Marisol Touraine was very determined about the issue. “We cannot accept something like this. We have to look at this, to analyze it. This is money which was disbursed without any return, which is not acceptable,” the minister told Europe 1, referring to the fact that Peugeot had received €4 billion in state aid in recent years.

According to Touraine, the government will look at the company’s strategy and will defend the interests of its workers. The study will take two weeks and a meeting will be held at the end of the month to announce the results. However, there’s little the state can do if Peugeot decides to go ahead with the planned layoffs. Unlike Renault, PSA Peugeot Citroen doesn’t have the French state as a shareholder.

On Thursday, Peugeot announced it plans to cut 8,000 jobs in France and shut down the Aulnay assembly plant near Paris. The company motivated these decisions with increasing losses at its carmaking business. Peugeot’s announcement is the first major blow for the newly-installed socialist government, which has promised to create 150,000 state-aided jobs over five years.