Monday, March 30, 2020

Coronavirus: “The French must prepare for a long effort”, warns Edouard Philippe

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“It is a long effort which we will all face together,” assured Edouard Philippe on Wednesday, after a Council of Ministers during which 25 ordinances were adopted within the framework of the state of emergency. sanitary.

“It is the health emergency that animates all minds today, but it is also, and it will be more and more, an economic shock, a social shock: we are only at the beginning of the crisis” , warned the Prime Minister, before detailing the content of the orders, the number of which in the same Council of Ministers was a record under the Fifth Republic.

“This is a sign that the emergency dictates its law,” pleaded the head of government, according to whom “our country is today legally armed to organize a state of health emergency”.

The texts are intended in particular to mitigate “the serious economic and social damage that inevitably causes confinement” started eight days ago, continued Edouard Philippe, surrounded by several of his ministers.

Solidarity fund of one billion euros

As expected, this includes “the creation of a solidarity fund with a billion euros” oriented towards “very small businesses, micro-enterprises and self-employed”, aid for the travel sector or an adaptation of the rules of public contracts and the deployment of electronic communication networks to strengthen them more quickly.

“We will not leave anyone behind,” said Minister of Economy Bruno Le Maire, adding that the solidarity fund “will be maintained as long as the crisis lasts.”

Redesign of the partial unemployment benefit system

The Minister of Labor, Muriel Pénicaud, also presented, she specified the “complete overhaul of the partial unemployment compensation system”, which compensates an employee up to 70% of gross salary and 84% of net salary, with a contribution of the State up to the minimum wage Muriel Pénicaud said that 37,000 companies have already applied for this scheme, half of which have fewer than 10 employees.

Preserved social rights, adapted labor law

Edouard Philippe also announced orders dedicated to “protecting the most vulnerable”. Social rights (RSA, disabled adult allowance, rights of job seekers) will be “preserved and pursued throughout the confinement period”.

Labor law is “temporarily adjusted to allow the organization of a real war economy in vital sectors and under conditions,” said the head of government.

Concretely, “companies will be able to derogate temporarily and with subsequent compensation from the maximum working hours and the weekly and Sunday rest rules”. Clearly, the government is breaking down as many obstacles as regards working hours. For example, some employers may request up to 60 hours of work per week.

Some 5,000 prisoners released

The Keeper of the Seals, Nicole Belloubet, presented several exceptional measures for justice, some of which should make it possible to release between 5,000 and 6,000 prisoners from French prisons. To avoid a health and security crisis in prison, she paved the way a few days ago for the early release of sick prisoners and others at the end of their sentence.

Caregivers, the “priority of priorities”

Edouard Philippe also sent a message to caregivers, who must be “absolutely priority, whether it is protective equipment, means of transport for the sick, temporary accommodation or funding”. “It is the priority of government priorities,” he insisted.

VIDEO. Edouard Philippe: “The French must prepare for a long effort”

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