Paris (AFP)

The Assembly gave its final green light on Thursday to the new budget for the crisis facing the coronavirus and its emergency plan of 110 billion euros, before the vote of the Senate in the evening, for a final adoption.

Besides the majority, the opposition groups LR and Socialist voted this text in the Assembly in spite of reservations, whereas the Communists and the rebellious ones voted against.

"Adopting quickly was objective number 1. There is urgency. We are living in the midst of a crisis, a storm, and we need to recharge the credits to continue applying all the measures of 'aid', underlined LREM MP Laurent Saint-Martin, general rapporteur for the budget.

At the end of the morning, deputies and senators had reached an agreement on this second draft 2020 budget rectified, after that of the end of March. The text, in this compromise version, must still be approved by the Senate, in session from 19H00.

This budget brings to 110 billion euros the plan announced by the government to support the economy. He expects an 8% decline in GDP in 2020, a public deficit of about 9.1% of GDP and a debt of 115% of GDP.

The deficit would be "two points more than in 2009" and public debt "twenty points more than in 2009", said Secretary of State Olivier Dussopt, making "reference to the last great crisis systemic that we experienced "in 2008-2009.

These "unusual figures can be dizzying but reflect massive action to deal with an exceptional crisis," he said.

This budget brings to 24 billion euros the credits intended for partial unemployment and provides 20 billion euros to recapitalize strategic companies in difficulty, like Air France.

It also includes aid for the most modest households (recipients of social minima) of 150 euros, plus 100 euros per child.

While supporting the text, LR deputy and chairman of the Finance Committee Eric Woerth again asked for charges cancellation for companies, rather than postponements. "You will do it, it will undoubtedly be part of the recovery plan. We should have played cards on the table," he said.

The leader of socialist deputies Valérie Rabault voted for this budget, in the name of "the food, social and economic emergency". But she notably criticized the 20 billion company recapitalizations on which "we know nothing".

This support, which should in particular be addressed to Air France or to the automobile sector, is criticized by environmental NGOs, which denounce a "blank check" to polluters, even if the government assures that compensation will be required.

Opposed to this budget, the communist Fabien Roussel called for the re-establishment of the ISF and an additional contribution from the banking sector. "Who will pay ?" these new expenses, he launched.

"This bill bears no trace of the world after", also judged the rebellious Eric Coquerel, who denounced a "productivist" logic, without "environmental" requirements.

© 2020 AFP