French finance minister says Peugeot-Fiat deal 'good news' for France

FILE PHOTO: French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire delivers a speech during the Pledging Conference of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) for the First Replenishment in Paris, France, October 25, 2019. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

PARIS (Reuters) - French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire gave his blessing to the merger between national champion PSA and Italo-American carmaker Fiat-Chrysler, saying the deal would be good news for France and Europe but that he would keep an eye on possible job cuts.

“This merger between Peugeot and Fiat can create the world’s fourth-biggest automotive champion. It gives us critical size to face the dual challenges of autonomous vehicles and electric cars,” he told reporters at the French finance ministry.

Le Maire did not confirm the French state would keep a seat at the board of the merged entity when asked by a reporter.

Asked about a possible Dutch headquarters for the group, he said it was too early to say where decision centers would be located and that the French government would be vigilant on the subject.

Reporting by Matthieu Protard; writing by Michel Rose; editing by Geert De Clercq