Evening Update Wednesday 10 June 2020

Bruno Le Maire, the French Minister of the Economy and Finance, has said that 800,000 jobs are expected to be lost in France in the coming months, which is about 2.8% of total French employment. The Minister was presenting the latest crisis budget to the Finance Committe of the National Assembly this afternoon. The new measures increase emergency funding to 460 billion euros from the previous 400 billion announced in previous budgets. 45 billion euros is being allocated to support the most vulnerable. It's the third amending finance bill since the pandemic began.

Several reports are quoting government sources as saying that President Macron will address the nation at 8pm on Sunday. The reason for the address isn't know but it's thought that he may comment on the progress of deconfinement and on race issues.

A French government spokesperson has said that deconfinement will continue with "great caution and seriousness". Speaking after today's meeting of the Council of Ministers, she said that meetings would be held on Friday and next week specifically devoted to health issues and to discuss the next steps to take in deconfinement from 22 June.

The German government has announced that it will lift border controls with France as well as Austria, Switzerland and Denmark from 15 June but said that the decision could be reviewed if the health situation deteriorates. Meanwhile, the EU has suggested the date of 1 July for the  gradual reopening of the bloc's external borders. The European Commission has said that it will suggest the 1 July date to the EU member states and said that a common approach was needed and certain "principles and criterea" should be taken into account.

A total of 114 seasonal workers on farms in the Bouches de Rhone have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the Prefecture and the Regional Health Agency. Tests have been ongoing since the detection of a cluster of cases last week and 1,426 tests have now been carried out on agricultural workers in the area. According to reports, most of the workers are from Spain and South America.

As more tourist sites begin to open their doors across France, a famous local attraction has restarted operations. The cable car on Mont Faron in Toulon has reopened to visitors after being closed for three months. People using the cable car to get to the top of the mountain and admire the spectacular views will be required to wear face masks and use hand sanitiser as well as sitting in specially distanced seating.

A man has received a prison sentence after buying motor vehicles with a fraudulent bank transfer. The gendarmerie in Pierrefeu in the arriere-pays of Nice launched an investigation after a complaint from two people who had sold their cars via a website. The acccused had taken possession of the cars but no payment was received by the sellers. Investigations confirmed that he had used false bank transfer documents.

Meteo France have a Yellow warning for storms in the Var and Alpes Maritimes until 8.00pm this evening. There is also a yellow warning for storms in the Alpes Maritimes from around midday to at least 4pm tomorrow.

 

BUSINESS

Inditex, the owner of fashion retailer Zara, has reported a 95% increase in online sales in April. However, the company also announced it's first quarterly loss since it was listed in 2001. Sales also fell by 44% in the first quarter compared to the same period last year.

The OECD has said that the recession caused by the pandemic will have "dire and long lasting consequences for people, firms and governments". The OECD's chief economist said that by the end of next year the loss of income will exceed that of "any previous recession over the last one hundred years outside wartime". The organization forecast a contraction in the global economy of 6%, rising to 7.6% if there's a second wave of the virus.

UK company The Restaurant Group has announced plans to shut 125 of its outlets. The firm said the closures would mainly affect its Frankie and Benny's restaurants, but other chains such as Garfunkel's and Chiquito will also be affected.


SPORT

Tennis... Roger Federer is out of action for the rest of the season after having knee surgery. Professional tennis has been suspended since March and Federer hasn't played since the Australian Open in January. He said he was looking forward to "seeing everyone back on tour at the start of the 2021 season".

Football.... Liverpool's ground safety advisory committee have cleared the way for the Merseyside derby to be played at Goodison Park and for Liverpool to play home matches at Anfield. There had been safety concerns because of the risk of fans gathering outside stadiums while matches were being played. However, the committee, which includes representatives from the police, fire service and club fan groups, have decided that the matches can go ahead behind closed doors when the season resumes. Liverpool can win the league title if Manchester City lose at home to Arsenal on 17 June.

 

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