French politicians and PSA Peugeot Citroen are maintaining complete silence as to last night's (18 July) meeting between Economic Redevelopment Minister, Arnaud Montebourg and the automaker's CEO, Philippe Varin.

After days of both sides positioning following PSA's announcement it intends to axe up to 8,000 jobs in France, Varin was summoned to Montebourg's Bercy office last night in an atmosphere French media are describing as 'high tension.'

Ministers have spent the time since PSA's news of its mass job cuts intentions, touring Paris television and radio stations, but last night's meeting marks the first time both sides appear to have mutually agreed not to reveal any details.

"There has not been any declaration from the Minister or the president of the Group," a PSA spokesman told just-auto from Paris. "We have seen the debate at the moment about the reorganisation of the Group. [There were] no details, no information.

Responding to questions concerning the supposed high tension of the meeting, the PSA spokesman confined himself to noting: "No-one [else] was present so it is difficult to say. The meeting took place behind closed doors - only those two present."

Montebourg's office in Paris also declined to reveal the nature of last night's discussions, but further details could become available during the day.

PSA says it intends to close completely the C3-producing Aulnay plant near Paris, drastically reduce headcount by 1,400 at its Rennes plant and lay off a further 3,600 non-assembly workers.

The automaker has left open the possibility however, of up to 1,500 staff transferring to Poissy, where small car production will be located.