Paris (AFP)

Economic measures, preparation for the exit from containment: Emmanuel Macron and Édouard Philippe are conducting a series of meetings on Friday to prepare the address to the French by the Head of State scheduled for Monday on the new measures in the fight against Covid-19.

At the Élysée Palace, the president and the Prime Minister exchanged audio conference calls with employers and union officials at the end of the morning, for the second time in 15 days after a first meeting on March 26.

The objective of this meeting was to "take stock of the health situation", to "ensure that the economic and social measures to support containment are effectively deployed" and to "prepare for the release of containment when the health situation will allow ", according to the Elysée.

Representatives of Medef, CPME, U2P, FNSEA, CFDT, CGT, FO, CGC, CFTC and UNSA were invited to this meeting.

Before the meeting, the general secretary of the CFDT Laurent Berger wanted the definition of "mandatory criteria" in "each company" in health matters, "a form of end of containment protocol".

At the start of the morning, Édouard Philippe held a videoconference with all the ministers to take stock of the crisis, both from a health and economic standpoint, as well as on the work in progress with regard to a possible digital device for "tracing".

Jean Castex, appointed last week by the Prime Minister to prepare for the deconfinement, notably spoke there.

For his part, Emmanuel Macron participated in a 1.5 hour videoconference meeting with Heads of State and Government and European Commissioners linked to the Renew Europe group, of which En Marche is a member of the European Parliament.

This working meeting focused on "concrete measures" taken at European level "to fight the epidemic" and "revive the economy", strongly affected by the crisis, according to the Elysee.

The Dutch Prime Ministers Mark Rutte, Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel and Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis, European Council President Charles Michel and commissioners Margrethe Vestager, Thierry Breton and Didier Reynders took part.

These consultations come at a time when Emmanuel Macron is preparing his speech scheduled for Monday at 8:02 p.m., after the applause from the carers, during which he must specify the duration of the confinement extension and take stock of the health crisis.

Friday afternoon, Édouard Philippe will hold a videoconference with the presidents of parliamentary groups.

He must also meet, this time individually by phone, with the party leaders throughout the weekend, said Matignon. It is a question of "being attentive and exchanging," according to the entourage of the Prime Minister.

In addition to the presidents of the parliamentary groups, the presidents of the two assemblies, Richard Ferrand (LREM) and Gérard Larcher (LR), must participate in that of Friday, scheduled at 3.30 p.m.

Édouard Philippe has already held four meetings with all the leaders of groups and parties since the start of the crisis.

© 2020 AFP