Bruno Le Maire is fishing for solutions before the wave of bankruptcies that is likely to sweep over France due to the coronavirus crisis. The government says it is ready to do anything to avoid these bankruptcies and find solutions, assures the Minister of the Economy. But which ones?

How to avoid a wave of bankruptcy in the fall? In Bercy, we are working on the economic recovery plan presented Thursday, September 3. The government says it is ready to do "more than anything" to avoid mass bankruptcies and find solutions, assures Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire. But what solutions are being considered? And will they be sufficient?

Long-term partial activity

There are two tools the government is banking on. The first is to allow companies to have fewer staff without laying off workers. This is called the long-term partial activity: for two years, companies can reduce the working time and therefore the employee's salary, it is the State which bears part of the difference. "We rely a lot on this device," concedes another leading minister. 

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Business loans

Another device is business loans, which have been very effective in keeping companies out of business. But that will not be enough because we are living through the worst economic crisis in our history. In many sectors, such as small independent clothing stores, activity has collapsed.

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Several large companies are also experiencing difficulties. Bruno Le Maire quoted Arc international, the glass manufacturer on Saturday. He expects to have to help society further. "We will do our utmost to save everyone, but I'm not saying that we will have results that will prevent all bankruptcies," he warns.