Lunchtime News Wednesday 10th June 2020

OECD - The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), has said that the global economy will experience its worst peacetime contraction in the past 100 years this year. Released today the updated forecasts take into account the effects of the coronavirus pandemic with the OECD forecasting a global recession of 6% for 2020 if the Covid-19 pandemic "remains under control" and 7.6% in the event of a second wave.

For 2021, the OECD anticipates a strong rebound, with global growth of 5.2%. Rebound which would however be limited to 2.8% in the event of a second wave.

In France, the contraction of gross domestic product (GDP) will be between 11.4% and 14.1% in 2020, specifies Le Monde. It is the largest contraction in the world, with similar proportions as in Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom.

Pollution - The end of lockdown in France has as expected, seen a rise in air pollution especially in the Ile-de-France.

During lockdown, emissions, in particular those linked to road traffic had experienced a dramatic and unprecedented fall. However, from 11th to 31st May, the gradual resumption of activities, has led to an increase in air pollution with levels already reaching usual conditions in the Ile-de-France for this this time of year.

Investigation - An investigation has been opened into how France handled the COVID-19 pandemic, after scores of complaints by labour unions and individuals

Paris's chief prosecutor said possible charges include endangering the lives of others, involuntary homicide, failure to assist those in danger, and willingly abstaining from fighting a threat.

But he said the investigation would not "assign political or administrative blame" but would "uncover possible criminal offences" by national decision-makers.

According to French law, President Emmanuel Macron will have immunity from the prosecution and cannot be held accountable.

Government ministers can be held responsible but only by the Republican Court of Justice, which has received dozens of complaints.

The prosecutor's office has received more than 60 complaints, which include alleged failures to implement anti-virus protections in workplaces and mass testing.

More than 29,000 people have died in France from COVID-19, which is the third highest death toll In Europe.

Cleaning product for public transport - Trajet a French company specialising in self-cleaning and anti-stain fabrics believes it has found a solution to make public transport safer amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The company claims that the recently developed product is capable of eliminating almost 100 per cent of bacteria.

Tests conducted by independent laboratories in the United States and Spain have also proven its effectiveness against the new coronavirus.

It comes as many are concerned about the heightened risk of coronavirus infection in crowded public transport.

The transport network in Lyon has already equipped some of its metro trains with this velvet. Other cities in France and around the world may soon follow suit.

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