France’s government tries to convince Peugeot to reduce the planned number of 8,000 job cuts and shift part of the burden to Spain.
“It’s not just Aulnay. A production line is also set to be lost in Rennes, while the Madrid plant is being kept open,” said Arnaud Montebourg, industrial renewal minister.
The Spanish industry ministry spokesman said that the decision where to make jobs cuts rests only on the automaker’s shoulders and declined to make further comments. If Peugeot decides to make cuts in Spain too, this would be a hard blow for the country which already seeks a sovereign debt bailout in its fight to reduce the EU’s highest unemployment rate of just under 25%.
But Montebourg is decided to have a talk with Peugeot’s management regarding this issue and weigh all choices and possibilities. In July Peugeot announced its plans to make job cuts in France due to increased losses caused by the European debt crisis. The government quickly appointed an expert to evaluate the situation and find solutions, and he did. He blamed the automaker for choosing to cut jobs and close a plant in France and not considering doing the same in other markets, such as Spain.
“We’re not going to break (Peugeot’s) door down. But when there’s a national drama like this one we’re telling them there are a number of concessions that need to be made and mistakes to be admitted, because there were mistakes and the management bears responsibility for that,” said Montebourg.