With the reconfinement announced this Wednesday evening by Emmanuel Macron, Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux, president of Medef, fears a wave of bankruptcies among traders if measures are not taken within a fortnight for their reopening.
"There is a very strong feeling of injustice among entrepreneurs: contamination takes place in the private sphere and it is companies, and therefore employees, who are penalized", deplores the boss of employers.
Do you approve of the strategy to fight the second wave presented by Emmanuel Macron?
GEOFFROY ROUX DE BÉZIEUX
I am not a doctor and therefore I have no medical opinion on the subject.
What I can tell you is that these severe containment measures will cause a significant economic shock.
With the closure of shops and restaurants, and the "halo effect" on the rest of the economy, we should lose in November between 50 and 75 billion GDP in November.
The impact will be very strong.
Whatever the level of government aid, there will be a lot of bankruptcies, especially among the 330,000 businesses in the trade sector that do most of their activity between November 1 and December 15.
The damage will be very important.
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The President of the Republic spoke of a balance between the health fight and the protection of our economy.
Has this balance been achieved?
The pendulum tilts towards health.
It is a choice that I can understand but which is not balanced.
In the order of priorities set by the President of the Republic, protection of the economy comes last.
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Reconfinement: Macron wants to avoid the collapse of the economy, at all costs
Are the support measures for businesses, in particular the renewal of short-time working, the support of up to 10,000 euros per month of loss of turnover, are they sufficient?
The supportive measures are up to the task.
But, in the hotel and catering industry, people no longer have hope, no longer a future.
They will just let it go.
What was missing in the president's speech is to explain to us what will happen after December 1.
I am willing to believe that confinement will stop the epidemic and that we will deconfin before the Christmas holidays, but we will reconfine in March to face the third wave.
We cannot permanently confine and deconfin, otherwise hundreds of thousands of businesses will disappear.
We cannot wait for a vaccine to arrive next summer.
What is needed now is to discuss with the professionals to see how to function as normally as possible with the Covid.
Are you calling for the reopening of all businesses?
The President of the Republic opened a door by affirming that the situation of the closure of non-essential businesses will be examined after fifteen days.
All the sectors closed from Thursday evening must have the opportunity, which has not been done seriously so far, to discuss in order to reopen.
There is a very strong feeling of injustice among entrepreneurs: contamination takes place in the private sphere and it is companies, and therefore employees, who are penalized.
Let's find solutions to reopen businesses within 15 days.
On this point, the Prime Minister did not hear us.
The scientific council does not say that the contaminations take place in shops, quite the contrary.
Masks are worn, customers wash their hands when entering and leaving.
Shops that close and those that remain open
The president called on everyone at their level to participate in the effort.
Are you also appealing to banks, insurers, and donors to show solidarity?
The banks, they played the game tremendously and we are already discussing the March deadline and a form of additional time for the repayment of loans guaranteed by the State, the PGE.
Insurers are committed to making a better contribution to the economy.
Finally, on rents, we expect from the Minister of the Economy a tax credit measure that would allow rental companies to make a gesture on rents.
But, you know, companies have played the game of solidarity, including vis-à-vis their employees.
82% of them feel protected by their business.
I repeat, the contamination takes place in the private sphere, companies are not responsible for the situation.