Battered by the impact of the global COVID pandemic, the French economy will now benefit from a 100 billion euro ($118 billion) recovery plan unveiled recently by the government. The plan, called France Reboot, is aimed at saving struggling businesses, creating jobs and pulling the country out of its worst economic decline in the post-World War II period. The ambitious government package will provide funds to develop hydrogen energy, train youth for 21st century jobs, support the movie industry and museums, bring back manufacturing of medical supplies, as well as hire more staff at unemployment offices.
The French government has spent hundreds of billions of euros in emergency aid as the COVID19 pandemic spread across the country this spring, leading to a two-month lockdown that brought the economy to a virtual halt, while slowing the spread of infections.
During the April to June 2020 quarter, France’s economy shrank by 13.8%. The new plan aims to create 160,000 jobs next year and restore France’s 2019 GDP level by 2022, the year of the next presidential election. “It’s ambitious but perfectly within our reach,” according to the country’s Prime Minister, Mr. Jean Castex.
The France Reboot plan includes 40 billion euro ($47.3 billion) in aid from a ground breaking EU-wide rescue package approved in July. The French government plans to issue new treasury bonds to pay for the remainder of the plan.
About a third of the 100 billion euro will go to supporting businesses, a third for jobs and other societal measures and a third for reducing emissions and protecting biodiversity.