“The next few weeks will be difficult and we have to face them,” Le Maire said at an online press conference. “We forecast 6% growth in 2021, which would be the highest in 50 years. But this figure is a challenge and I want us to be clear about this and the economic uncertainties that surround us.
High-frequency indicators tracked by Bloomberg Economics show a rebound in economic activity in most countries, including France, in the first week of the year. But growing concerns over the spread of the virus and the slow pace of vaccinations in the country suggest the gain will not be sustainable.
The Mayor said the French government will continue to provide emergency aid as long as the crisis continues. The Ministry of Finance is currently working on expanding the solidarity fund to help large companies with fixed costs, especially in the hotel and restaurant sector.
The aid ceiling of 200,000 euros ($ 243,000) is insufficient and the government is considering raising it to 3 million euros for some companies, he said.
He also said he was also in talks with banks to make deferring repayment of state-guaranteed loans until March 2022 a right rather than a possibility.
“Everyone should know that we will support them in the weeks and months to come, and that we will maintain the support measures as long as necessary,” said Le Maire. “If we are to continue beyond the end of the health crisis, I would not hesitate to help the sectors to recover.”
Air France, the besieged airline that has already received € 7 billion in state support from the French government, could also receive more aid.
“Air France knows that whatever the circumstances, it can count on the constant support of the French state,” said Le Maire.
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