national reconfinement, another hard blow for the economy

The Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire, during his meeting with the Director General of the World Trade Organization Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala in Geneva, on April 1.

The Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire, during his meeting with the Director General of the World Trade Organization Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala in Geneva, on April 1. DENIS BALIBOUSE / AFP

Denial or voluntarism? On Wednesday March 31, Bruno Le Maire was in Switzerland, where he was to meet his counterparts to talk about international trade and give a conference on the post-Covid economy, while Emmanuel Macron spoke on television to call ” each ” at “To provide an extra effort” facing the third wave of Covid-19. By extending for one month the reinforced health restrictions to all of metropolitan France, by closing schools for three weeks from April 5 and colleges and high schools for four weeks, the Head of State has again shifted France and its economy into a bell that the tenant of Bercy had until then tried not to revive the country.

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On the one hand, all “non-essential” businesses will be closed from Saturday evening. Will not be open “That the stores registered on the list of essential businesses [alimentaire, électronique, libraires, coiffeurs, fleuristes…] unless they are in large shopping centers [déjà fermés], where only food stores and pharmacies have the right to open ”, recalls Jacques Creyssel, general delegate of the Federation of commerce and distribution. On the other hand, the closure of schools will force parents to resort massively to partial unemployment, possible as last year when no parent can telework. “Closing schools is the double Kiss Cool effect”, do we slip at Bercy: less economic activity, and greater weight for public finances.

This new package of measures will cost around 11 billion euros per month, according to Bercy estimates – by adding the financing of the solidarity fund, short-time working and exemptions from social contributions – against 7.2 billion so far for the arrangements for the 19 departments already partly confined. “This is a first figure that will have to be refined, depending on people’s behavior”, said the entourage of the Minister of the Economy, Wednesday evening. Some 150,000 businesses will be closed across the country, compared to 90,000 today. “This new confinement will be terrible for the closed sectors. It must be the last. Let’s open them all on May 15th ”, Medef boss Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux immediately reacted on Twitter.

Decision with serious consequences

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