France has entered a “war” economy following the adoption Wednesday 25 March by the Council of Ministers of 25 orders which allow it to organize the fight against the epidemic of coronavirus.
“The number, 25 ordinances in a Council of Ministers, is historic. We have to go back to 1958 to find an equivalent precedent. It is a sign that urgency is dictating its law, ”said Édouard Philippe.
According to the Prime Minister, the government wants to limit the serious economic and social damage caused by the containment. Among the measures include in particular the creation of the solidarity fund for SMEs, the deferral of invoices, the extension of legal deadlines and the protection of telecommunications networks.
But these approaches are not unanimous within the political class. Senator EELV Esther Benbassa says that health mobilization is causing “modern slavery” in France.
#COVID ー 19, the virus that kills, inaugurates in France the#slavery modern. The Minister of Labor establishes 60 hours / week in certain sectors, that of agriculture urges the unemployed to work in the fields to replace seasonal workers. Isn’t the sacred union beautiful?
– Esther Benbassa 🌻 (@EstherBenbassa) March 25, 2020
Julien Aubert, LR deputy, is also indignant on Twitter about the abolition of the rules of labor law.
The measures implied by the health crisis must be strictly proportioned. After the holidays, abolishing the labor law rules by ordinance by increasing the duration to 60 hours is a socially regressive choice.@the Republicans https://t.co/piuLop0Fdv
– Julien Aubert (@ JulienAubert84) March 25, 2020
Finally, the deputies of rebellious France also expressed their disapproval after having voted on March 22 in the National Assembly against the health emergency law.
“We were right to vote against the state of health emergency law. Because once again, it is a pretext for a further decline in social rights. […] The government is making employees pay for the health crisis that it has helped to reinforce by its lack of preparation, ”points out Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s party in a press release dated March 25.
However, Philippe Dallier, Senator LR, supports the initiative, explaining that “we must try to adapt to it for a period which will hopefully remain relatively short. […] We must indeed make decisions, we cannot wait for time to pass and see the damage afterwards ”.
Dampening social shock
In order to cushion the social shock, the government is also implementing measures to protect the most vulnerable, such as extending the winter truce and extending the social minima without proof.
The lack of visibility on containment creates economic uncertainty. Although the scientific council has decided to extend the confinement until April 28, the executive will announce its decision this weekend, as the first deadline of the first 15 days approaches.