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For this week, there is an increase of 148,782 confirmed COVID-19 cases in France. According to deaths, there is an increase of 2253 in France in one week. There is a total of 3,245,517 people vaccinated with the first dose in France.
It is an unexpected consequence of the health crisis. The savings of the French will be used massively to strengthen the balance sheet of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) hard hit for a year by the economic crisis. To develop this financing circuit, by using the State guarantee, Bercy services negotiated for many months with representatives of companies, the financial sphere, and with the European Commission.
It is now done and the Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, was finally able to present, Thursday, March 4, the terms of these new “participatory loans”. “It is time to give our businesses the opportunity to restart quickly and strongly. This is the whole objective of these equity loans … which respond to the essential challenge of the recovery: to invest”, did he declare. This financing, which will be distributed by the banking networks from the month of April, is therefore not conventional loans.
They will offer an eight-year financing maturity, and companies will not start repaying until after four years. Then, the banks will keep only 10% of the amount of the receivables on their balance sheet and will transfer the remaining 90% to a fund, which will have collected money from life insurance companies, employee savings funds, or retirement savings funds.
Partially suspended due to the Covid-19 epidemic, unemployment insurance reform has just been put back on the agenda. On Tuesday 2 March, the government confirmed that this work will be completed, but following a different plan from the one defined in two decrees in July 2019. The transformations decided at the time are therefore being adjusted. In concrete terms, the rules for compensating jobseekers will be tightened, starting on 1 July, while being slightly less severe than those initially set.
At the heart of the discussions were four key provisions. Three of them, unanimously denounced by the trade union centers, affect the unemployed: an increase in the contribution period for receiving an allowance; regressivity of the sums paid from the seventh month for those under 57 years of age who earned 4,500 euros gross when they held a job; and a new method of calculation, resulting in a reduction in the monthly amount of the benefit granted to those who alternate short contracts and periods of inactivity.
It is always possible to move around France, from one region to another. Nevertheless, Jean Castex, at his press conference on 4 March, “invited” the inhabitants of 23 departments placed under reinforced surveillance not to leave their departments and not to travel.