Peugeot decries government criticism

July 21, 2012 at 10:17 AM

PARIS, July 21 (UPI) -- The chairman of Peugeot said government criticism of the French automaker's restructuring plans are affecting investor confidence in the company.

"We are ready to accept criticism, but there are limits. ... The attacks the company is currently facing have an immediate effect on [investor] perception," said Chairman Thierry Peugeot.

"This is a dangerous situation," he said.

Peugeot has announced plans to cut 8,000 jobs, which flies in the face of the country's new socialist president's pledge to revitalize industry in France.

The government may announce a plan for intervention next week, the British Broadcasting Corp. reported Saturday. In the meantime, however, Peugeot said the job cuts were painful, but necessary given the slumping European economy.

"We are well aware of the seriousness of the plan to cut 8,000 jobs. These measures are painful. I understand they can cause shock within the company, the government and the whole of the country," he said.

He also said the company "cannot stand by and do nothing," as the economy falters.

He added that the carmaker was "forced to adapt" to falling European sales.

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