More than half of French industry restarts after Covid 19 shutdown Finance Ministry

A large part of France’s economy “is functioning,” according to Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, who said that close to 60 percent of the country’s industry has restarted after being shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking on RTL radio on Wednesday, Le Maire said that the cost of the government’s economic relief package had risen by €10 billion ($10.9 billion) from the previously announced €100 billion ($109.3 billion).

He also said that Air France-KLM will receive support in a “matter of days,” as the carrier needs backing from the government because its planes are grounded.

The minister warned last week that France is likely to see its worst post-war economic slowdown this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, much worse than it faced in 2009 after the global financial crisis.

He said GDP is expected to contract by eight percent as a result of the lockdown being extended until May 11.

France is the world’s fourth-worst-hit nation by Covid-19, with the number of deaths from the pandemic having exceeded 15,750, while there are more than 143,000 people infected.

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