France lockdown: Paris students queue for food parcels
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Emmanuel Macron has been shamed after footage emerged showing hundreds of people lining up for food parcels in Paris. Shocking footage showed several hundred young people and students facing “financial precariousness” queuing up in Paris’ Ground Control square. Viewers online blamed Mr Macron for the economic crisis ravaging France.
France faces a £12.8bn economic black hole after Mr Macron plunged the country into its third lockdown.
Experts at investment bank Berenberg report that the latest lockdown restrictions, which are due to last four weeks, will wipe 7 percent off France’s economy.
This level of loss would cost France’s €2.3 trillion economy up to €15billion in lost growth.
Christopher Dembik, an economist at Berenberg, said: “Macron had long shied away from a stricter lockdown in order to prevent a new decline in economic activity.”
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He continued: “But the surging infections numbers left him little choice in the end.
“Even with a strong rebound in activity from early May onwards, the tighter April lockdown will weigh heavily on the second-quarter average for GDP.”
As a sign of the economic crisis, France’s Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire has pleaded with the EU to to accelerate the implementation of its 750 billion-euro economic stimulus plan.
Mr Le Maire told Le Journal Du Dimanche (JDD) that France was now unlikely to get the 5 billion euro fund from that scheme in July as planned, due to the ongoing delays.
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While the landmark stimulus fund was agreed last summer, individual EU governments are still struggling to ratify the plans.
The new lockdown measures in France will force the temporary closure of 150,000 businesses at a cost of £9.4billion (€11billion) per month, according to the country’s finance ministry.
Despite the economic woes, Mr Le Maire insisted that France will “be able to bounce back”.
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He even predicted that the economy will expand by five percent this year, despite the lockdown and ongoing pandemic.
This comes as a new poll showed French far-right leader Marine Le Pen increasing her chances of winning the first round of next year’s presidential elections.
According to an Ifop-Fiducial poll published by Le Journal du Dimanche, Mr Macron saw a ten percent drop in support among those who voted for him in 2017.
The National Rally leader announced her election bid on Friday and said she thought victory was “plausible”.
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