Peugeot-Citroen to open talks with French unions

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The head of French car maker, PSA Peugeot-Citroen, has agreed to open talks with unions following the announcement of cuts that will result in the loss of 8000 jobs.

In July, the ailing company announced the measures as well as the closure of its plant in Aulnay, north of Paris.

PSA Union leader Jean-Pierre Mercier said the workers were happy that talks are opening:

“We’re faced with a company that is tough, a management that doesn’t want to give anything up. But today through the unity of the workforce, we have managed to score a very important first point.”

On Wednesday the French government promised a 7 billion euro state guarantee for PSA’s finance division, but the its Chief Executive, Philippe Varin says savings still need to be made:

“The closure of the Aulnay plant will take place. A total of 8,000 jobs in total are concerned. But as we have said since the very start: we attach a great importance to the limitation of the social impact.”

Peugeot reported a 3.9% fall in sales during the July to September quarter and its shares fell sharply as it said it would not pay dividends while in receipt of government aid.

EU summit in ‘small revolution’

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European leaders have agreed a deal on a banking union.

France and the European Commission arrived at the summit keen to run ahead with a new European bank supervisory mechanism to be in place by January, but the cautious German chancellor, Angela Merkel said she thinks baby steps are needed first: “Concerning the move towards banking supervision, we have decided to move forward with the principle that quality is more important than rapidity. This means we will not have a working banking supervision at the beginning of 2013.”

The summit agreement now says that “work on the operational implementation will take place in the course of 2013” rather than in January.

European Council President, Herman Van Rompuy hailed the result of the summit as highly successful: “This is a small revolution, it means that we’ll have only one supervisor for the whole Europe, who – to a certain extent – will replace all the national supervisors.

“You know the source of our problem is the financial crisis. Now we will have only one supervisor for Europe, if we had this in 2008 I don’t think the crisis would have reached this level.”

The art of compromise has prevailed once again in Europe, but there is still much more that needs to be done, as the Spanish and Greek emergencies are still waiting.