France promises one billion euros to businesses hit by curfew

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PARIS (Reuters) – Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire has pledged € 1 billion ($ 1.17 billion) in additional support to help French businesses cushion the impact of a nighttime curfew in Paris and in eight other large cities where the coronavirus is rife.

The Mayor also said that struggling hospitality businesses would be exempt from payroll taxes if their income fell by more than 50% due to curfews.

Curfews are President Emmanuel Macron’s response to a dilemma facing countries in Europe: how to keep the economy running and protect jobs while slowing the spread of infections and easing pressure on health systems. health cracks.

“The new measures will cost around € 1 billion during the curfew,” Le Maire said at a press conference.

The Mayor also said he was asking banks to delay paying interest on state-guaranteed loans to struggling businesses in the hotel, restaurant and event sectors.

Prime Minister Jean Castex said people can break the curfew to get to and from work, take a train or plane, see a doctor and even walk a dog – but an exemption document from the Ministry of the interior would be necessary in the event of a police check.

The French interior minister said 12,000 police officers will apply curfews in Paris, Toulouse, Marseille, Montpellier, Grenoble, Rouen, Lille, Lyon and Saint-Étienne. In total, the curfew covers around 20 million people, or nearly a third of the French population.

Anyone who breaks the curfew will be fined 135 euros

Report by Geert de Clercq; Writing by Benoit Van Overstraeten; Editing by John Stonestreet and Tomasz Janowski

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