The Minister of the Economy, interviewed by “Le Journal du Dimanche”, warns that the recovery of the economy will take, whatever happens, months.
In a major interview in the “Journal du Dimanche”, Bruno Le Maire warns the French: the return to normal will be long and difficult. In the midst of a health crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the boss of Bercy indicates that, on the economic front, the outcome of the battle is still not in sight. Prime Minister Edouard Philippe warned on Thursday that the deconfinement would “not be for tomorrow morning”; the Minister of the Economy adopts the same rhetoric. “Do not make the French believe that everything will quickly become as before and that tomorrow, for example, millions of Chinese tourists will return to France”, he underlines in “The JDD”.
The minister ensures that it will be possible to keep the promise hammered by Emmanuel Macron on March 12, saving lives and the economy “whatever the cost”. Public action will be massively engaged “as long as the crisis lasts,” explains Bruno Le Maire in the daily newspaper on the seventh day. “I prefer that we go into debt today, by avoiding a shipwreck, rather than let whole sections of our economy be destroyed,” he insists.
“The best answer to debt is growth”
France’s economic policy will be permanently changed, warns the minister. The explosion in public debt does not worry him: “The best answer to the debt is growth,” he says. To get out of the crisis, it will also be necessary to support business investment, “absolute priority”. Asked about the continuation of the reforms initiated by the government, Bruno Le Maire replied that “the only roadmap” is “the most powerful and fastest economic recovery possible”. He notes in passing that consumption has collapsed: “Payments by bank card dropped by 50% last week compared to 2019. In return, the passbooks A are at their highest,” he observed.
Interview:“Partial unemployment does not always prevent layoffs”
In the longer term, Bruno Le Maire anticipates “still difficult decisions” to relocate strategic productions. We must “rearm”, he said, asked about the shortage of masks. “This is also true for medicines,” he says, and for agriculture: “This crisis demonstrates how essential it is to guarantee good food for the French people, in all circumstances.”
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