Paris (AP) - French President Emmanuel Macron is pushing the pace as the corona-related restrictions relax. Restaurants and cafés in the Paris area could open completely again tomorrow, the 42-year-old announced during a television speech.
Since the capital region is particularly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, eating and drinking has only been possible on the outside terraces of restaurants. So far, normalization in the catering trade was not expected until June 22 at the earliest.
"From tomorrow we can close the chapter of the first phase of the crisis that we are going through," said the head of state. At the same time, he called his compatriots to unity to master the reconstruction in the country.
His speech was the fourth since the beginning of the severe health crisis in mid-March. France is particularly hard hit by the pandemic with over 29,000 deaths. In the worst case, the economy could shrink by over 14 percent in 2020, according to the industrialized states organization OECD.
Many schools should reopen to all students from June 22, Macron said. In France, however, the summer vacation usually begins in early July. The head of state said there should not be any tax increases to cope with the billions of euros of the crisis. Overall, the state is fighting the crisis with around 500 billion euros.
Against the backdrop of protests, Macron said they would be relentless about racism, anti-Semitism and discrimination. At the same time, the former whiz took a stand behind the security forces. In the international debate on colonial and slavery history, Macron said: "The Republic will not erase any trace or name of its history."
After the violent death of African American George Floyd in the United States, many people in France protested against racism and police violence. It was only on Saturday that thousands had taken to the streets in Paris. The sister of Adama Traoré, who died in arrest in 2016, called for the protest in the capital. She compared her brother's case to Floyd's violent death in the United States.
Macron pointed out that from this Monday trips to European countries would be possible again. From July 1, people could travel to non-European countries where the pandemic was under control. Once again, the most powerful French praised the plan for an EU reconstruction package of 500 billion euros presented with Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU).