Franceis facing its worst recession since 1945 due to the impact of the Covid-19pandemic, Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire told senators on Monday, according todpa.
"I'vedrawn a comparison with the great recession of 1929 because I don't see anyother comparable economic shocks in the recent past," Le Maire told theSenate's economic affairs committee.
France'sworst figure since since 1945 was negative growth minus 2.9 per cent of grossdomestic product in 2009, after the financial crash of 2008, according to theEconomy Ministry.
Thisyear was "very likely to be far below" the 2009 figure, Le Mairesaid. "That says everything about the economic shock we are facing."The minister said that 5 million workers were now benefiting fromgovernment-funded short time working or lay-offs, typically getting 84 per centof their ordinary net pay.
Thatwas the most generous such scheme in Europe, Le Maire said, and it was alreadycosting the government 11 billion euros (11.9 billion dollars).
LeMaire repeated his call for a European Union solidarity fund for post-crisisrecovery.