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France Makes Loan to Renault Trucks

Condition of loan -- no French job loss or factory closures

France agreed to loan Renault Trucks, a subsidiary of Sweden's Volvo, 250 million euros (US$319 million) in emergency funds on condition it not cut French jobs or plants.

Speaking in Lyon, industry minister Luc Chatel said the loan would be repaid over five years and had been agreed after the manufacturer promised that there would be no French job losses or factory closures in 2008.

Renault trucks managing director Stefano Chmilewski confirmed the company would take up the loan in March or April but warned that some workers would nevertheless face temporary lay-offs during to a collapsing order book.

France had previously bailed out car manufacturers Renault and Peugeot with similar large loans, hoping to head off mass job losses in an industry that directly or indirectly employs one French worker in ten.

Auto industry suppliers have also taken stimulus money, but this has not prevented many from shedding staff. This week German tire maker Continental said it would close its French plant at a cost of 1,120 jobs.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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