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France facing worst economic downturn since WWII – Ministry of Finance

France facing worst economic downturn since WWII – Ministry of Finance
France is likely to see its worst post-war economic slowdown this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, much worse than it faced in 2009 after the global financial crisis, said the country’s Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire.

“We will probably be at more than the -2.2 percent [seen] in 2009. That shows the magnitude of the economic shock we are facing,” he told the Senate in a hearing by teleconference on Monday.

France is the world’s fifth-worst-hit nation by Covid-19, with the number of deaths from the pandemic having exceeded 8,000, while there are more than 93,000 people infected.

The French government estimated last month in an emergency budget update that the economy would contract by one percent this year, but has since indicated that it would have to revise that figure. 

Also on rt.com France likely to ease lockdown gradually, PM Philippe says

As part of its crisis measures, the government has prepared a €45 billion ($50 billion) package – two percent of GDP – to pay businesses not to lay off workers. Deadlines for taxes and loan repayments have also been delayed, while another €300 billion in state-guaranteed loans are being extended to any struggling company that needs them.

READ MORE: Threats, attacks, break-ins: French union chief sounds alarm on spike in violence against pharmacy staff amid Covid-19

France has been pushing for a common EU fund to help Europe through the Covid-19 crisis. Proposed by Le Maire, the fund would come on top of other multibillion-euro rescue packages being negotiated by the EU and eurozone institutions.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section

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