France

Mainly people who are vaccinated or recently tested negative for Covid-19 will be allowed in bars, restaurants and malls in France starting from August, President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday, as the spread of the virus increases across the country, the Wall Street Journal reported. The new restrictions will also apply in trains, domestic flights, theaters, amusement parks, concert halls, hospitals and nursing homes. Authorities will reinforce border controls this week and impose quarantines on travelers who aren’t vaccinated and have arrived from countries at risk, he added.
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Air France-KLM has begun negotiations with Boeing Co. and Airbus SE on what could be the group’s biggest-ever aircraft order as it seeks to expand low-cost operations and renew part of its main Dutch fleet, Bloomberg News reported. The 160 single-aisle planes would be destined for the Transavia discount division and European operations at KLM, a spokesman said on Monday. The brands currently operate only Boeing jets on short- and mid-range routes. The contest will pit Boeing’s resurgent 737 Max against Airbus’s A320neo-series narrow-bodies.
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French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said that he is confident the Group of 20 economies will back a deal on international tax, even as his country pushes for a higher minimum corporate rate, Bloomberg News reported. The G-20 meeting in Venice is poised to give its backing to a deal signed by 131 countries for a minimum corporate levy of “at least 15%,” and new rules for dividing up the tax revenues from the world’s largest companies -- particularly U.S. tech giants.
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French President Emmanuel Macron could revive a controversial pension reform as he prepares to unveil his priorities for the rest of his mandate and ahead of 2022 elections, Bloomberg News reported. Macron is set to speak to the French some time during the first half of next month, probably before July 14 when French leaders usually address the nation to mark Bastille Day. Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire has urged Macron to make it clear to voters that he’s still committed to his original pledges after a year-long battle to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
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As many as 7% of French firms could be in financial trouble when the government rolls back the blanket support it has provided during the pandemic, according to research by Bank of France economists, Bloomberg News reported. The estimate is based on an analysis of over 200,000 balance sheets received as part of the central bank’s annual ratings exercise. It identified firms at risk by singling out those that recorded an increase in debt and a decrease in cash during the crisis.
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France will set up a new 3 billion euro ($3.67 billion) fund to support mid-sized and large companies as they emerge from the coronavirus crisis, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Tuesday, Reuters reported. The fund aims to help firms on a case-by-case basis with loans or equity injections so that businesses that were viable before the pandemic but now have strained balance sheets can get back on their feet. "The aim is not to dilute shareholders, it's not the state's role to become French companies' main shareholder," Le Maire told a news conference.
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Eurostar’s shareholders have pulled together funds from bank loans, deferred payments and from their own pockets to secure a £250million refinancing deal to save the company from bankruptcy, ConnexionFrance.com reported. “This refinancing is a major step towards securing Eurostar’s future,” Eurostar chief executive Jacques Damas said in a statement. Eurostar’s majority shareholder is the French national railway company SNCF, which owns 55% of the company and headed up the refinancing effort. The U.K.
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Air France-KLM sales are showing little sign so far of the travel recovery it still hopes to see by summer, the airline group said on Thursday, as it posted a wider first-quarter operating loss, Reuters reported. The group also confirmed its intention to raise more capital within months - a prospect that has weighed on its shares. The stock fell 1.1% to 4.51 euros at 0850 GMT -- less than half its peak of 9.81 euros early last year before the crisis.
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Bank of France Governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau said that there is an overblown alarm about a possible wave of insolvencies engulfing the European economy as governments taper aid for firms, Bloomberg News reported. The number of insolvencies has been around 40% below normal since the pandemic struck Europe, making it difficult for courts to operate normally and prompting governments to provide blanket support to companies.
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