MILAN (Reuters) - Italy's Economy Minster Roberto Gualtieri expressed his appreciation to Fiat Chrysler Chairman John Elkann for a planned merger with France's automaker PSA <PEUP.PA>, government sources said on Friday.
In a phone call with Elkann, Gualtieri said he would closely follow the developments of the deal as "a large number of Italian qualified jobs were involved" and as the auto industry was an important source of investments, research and innovation, one of the sources said.
Gualtieri said he was confident that the deal would not create job issues in the future, another source said.
Fiat Chrysler <FCHA.MI> and Peugeot owner PSA <PEUP.PA> plan to join forces in a 50-50 share merger to create the world's fourth-largest automaker, seeking scale to cope with costly new technologies and slowing global demand.
(Reporting by Giulio Piovaccari; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)