The French Prime Minister has said that after talks with Hewlett-Packard, the company may scale back the number of job cuts it plans to make in France. Dominique de Villepin is under pressure because his government has promised to lower the country’s unemployment rate which remains stubbornly near 10%.At his monthly news conference, he said following discussions with Hewlett-Packard this week the company “now allows for the possibility of a less severe reduction of jobs,” as well as a “strong engagement” in France. Earlier this month French HP workers were told that of the 6,000 positions the computer maker intends to eliminate in Europe, 1,240 would be at French sites. When the layoffs were announced the French government said HP should repay any state aid it had received. The company said it had not got any subsidies for creating jobs.