The French government is planning to unveil measures for the country's aviation industry, which has been severely affected by the coronavirus crisis, Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Sunday
MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 01st June, 2020) The French government is planning to unveil measures for the country's aviation industry, which has been severely affected by the coronavirus crisis, Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Sunday.
"We will announce in a few days with Emmanuel Macron [French President] a plan to support the aviation sector strongly affected by the crisis. In particular, we will create an investment fund to support small businesses, so that the sector regains its competitiveness," Le Maire tweeted late on Sunday.
Le Maire also touched upon the situation of the car industry, which was affected by the COVID-19 crisis. He said that the two-billion savings plan announced by French car manufacturer Renault last Friday was a good opportunity to make Northern France the center of electric, or green, vehicle production, as the company's major plants are located there.
Meanwhile, a report published on Monday by the French automobile Manufacturers Committee (CCFA) indicated that new car sales in France had plunged by 50.3 percent in May. Nevertheless, the auto industry is showing the first signs of recovery, the committee added.
Le Maire also said that access to the so-called Solidarity Fund, a part of a financial rescue package from the state, would be easier for the companies whether they had previously received a state-guaranteed loan under the partial unemployment program or not.
The partial unemployment scheme is the state's initiative in response to the COVID-19 outbreak and following lockdown restrictions that have halted economic activity. The system is aimed at supporting small businesses by providing them with state allowances that partially cover their staff wages.
Such sectors as catering and tourism are in particular need of state subsidies, as they suffered the most from the two-month lockdown, he added.
France began the first phase of lockdown easing on May 11, when all non-essential stores, facilities and public places that remained closed started to reopen in so-called green regions of the country where the virus was less active. The second phase of the lockdown lifting begins on June 2, with the further reopening of public places and entertainment facilities. Some limitations are to remain in effect, particularly, gatherings of no more than 10 people, mandatory mask-wearing and social distancing measures.