French Economic Redevelopment Minister, Arnaud Montebourg, is to appear live on television this evening to be grilled on today's (12 July) dramatic announcement by PSA it is to slash an initial 6,500 jobs at its Aulnay and Rennes sites.

Montebourg has only been in his post a few weeks following the recent Presidential elections, but is already plunged into a situation of mass redundancies in northern France, where Aulnay and Rennes are situated.

"I can confirm Arnaud Montebourg will be appearing on the 20:00 news this evening on France 2," a spokeswoman for the Minister told just-auto from Paris.

"There will not be a press conference today , there is no comment for the moment. As far as a reaction from Montebourg, if there is any news I will transfer the information as it happens."

Montebourg has already had a busy morning after being summoned to French Prime Minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault's office to discuss the crisis, which is presenting the new government with its first major employment headache.

Ayrault has instructed Montebourg to call all the parties involved together in order to present what he terms an "automotive support plan" to the French Cabinet by 25 July.

Major French unions, CGT and CFE-CGC were not immediately available for comment, while PSA in Paris is also currently unavailable.

French employers organisation, MEDEF, was not returning calls.

PSA will close its Aulnay small car plant in northern France in 2014 with the loss of 3,000 jobs but could transfer up to 1,500 to Poissy where small car production will be consolidated.

It will also axe 1,400 of 5,600 posts at Rennes. Another 3,600 posts will be axed in corporate roles.

The moves are part of a plant to restore PSA's "competitiveness and secure its future" following "sustained contraction in European demand": down 8% in 2012 and down 23% between 2007 and 2012.

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