« The first quarter of 2021 will continue to be difficult for the French economy, » he said the country’s Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire, in an event organized by the . agency, in which ratified the continuity of state aid to companies and workers.
However, the official stressed that « I am sure that the second part of 2021 will be very good for the French economy, » to which he added that « The forecast of 6% growth this year is not out of our reach, but we must remain cautious. »
The minister anticipated that « while the crisis lasts we will continue to support the sectors affected by it », and that « once the crisis is over, we will have to think about restoring sound public finances. »
In that context The French government announced that the State will continue to pay part of the private salaries, to which will be added help for the payment of fixed charges such as rents, fees, etc.. There will also be grants of up to 200 thousand euros for winemakers who lost more than 50% of their income due to the application of tariffs by the United States.
In this regard, he said that « trade sanctions are at the top of my agenda with the new US administration, » and said that although « I have no sign of the new US administration, I will travel to Washington as soon as possible. »
The official’s idea is to negotiate not only tariff issues, but also the application of an international digital tax to large technological empires such as Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple.
Going back to measurements, the French government will give one more year to repay loans to the state from companies that required assistance, without distinction of category, size or number of employees.
However, Le Maire stressed the need to « implement a very clear strategy to reduce public debt, » although he once again ratified that the time for such policies « will come when the crisis has passed. »
But he did not miss the opportunity to mark one of the key points through which the post-pandemic economic strategy will pass: « In France, we need a pension reform for the sake of restoring sound public finances and for social justice. «
At the same event, the head of the European Central Bank, Christine Lagarde, assured that « How vaccination will develop, how quickly and effectively we can move forward will be of critical importance when we look at economic developments and forecasts. »
The official highlighted the influence that the way in which European programs will be implemented, such as the ‘Next Generation EU’ fund, will have on the recovery.