News from France

Weekly news review in English from France:

This is News from France, a weekly review in English, today Sunday 10 January:

The focus for this week was:

President Emmanuel Macron’s response to the events in Washington on 6 January

The development of the Covid pandemic in France and the health service vaccination programme

The first week of trade with the UK following Brexit

France’s welcome to finance companies wishing to relocate from London, and other business news.

==

French President Emmanuel Macron was quick to respond to the attack on Capitol Hill in Washington on Wednesday.

In the early hours of Thursday, he made a statement from the Elysee Palace – beginning in French before finishing in English.

Macron said “What happened today in Washington is not American”

Five hours later, far-right leader Marine le Pen was on morning television to acknowledge for the first time that Jo Biden had won the November presidential elections.

Le Pen and her party are seen as the major threat to a second term for Macron in the presidential elections next year.

In France, new cases of the Covid virus continued to be reported at an average of 20,000 per day. The government had hoped to see this number fall to 5,000 per day.

As of this weekend, there have been at least 2,7 million confirmed cases of coronavirus in France and a total of 67,599 (sixty-seven thousand five hundred and ninety-nine) deaths.

Hundreds of medical centers across France have been announced as the vaccination programme is developed in the coming weeks.

Further measures to restrict movement were announced by the French Prime Minister Jean Castex and a nightly curfew is being extended in more than 15 departments in the northeast and southeast of the country to 18hours ( 6 p.m.). All other departments have a curfew from 8 p.m. Schools are open while people are being urged to work from home. People must wear a mask in all venues and bars, restaurants, cinemas, theatres, museums and gyms remain closed.

Among the museums is the new art gallery of French billionaire retailer Francois Pinault. The renovated Bourse de Commerce or stock exchange building in central Paris was due to open this month with some of Pinault’s 5,000 works on display. He also has two major galleries in Venice.

The first week of January saw the first finance and trade effects following the UK’s departure from the European Union.

The Brexit deal between London and the EU agreed before Christmas did not cover financial market access. The system in the EU offered to UK banks known as passporting ended with Brexit.

Ahead of the new year, over a trillion euros in assets ($1.55 trillion US dollars) belonging to EU customers were moved from London to the EU. On the first day of trading in January, nearly €6 bn billion euros of EU share dealing shifted away from London, according to reports in the Financial Times.

France now hosts the European Banking Association in Paris and so far, financial firms in London have moved around 7,500 jobs into Europe, according to accountancy firm EY.

British retailers – including food companies Marks and Spencer – faced problems with paperwork at the border in January. They now need to state country of origin for all ingredients coming into the EU. M&S and others, including department store John Lewis and luxury food store Fortnum and Mason have suspended deliveries into Europe as a result.

In business news, Airbus chief executive Guillaume Faury said during a conference call with journalists, he was “cautiously optimistic for 2021.” The Group hopes to increase production of single-aisle aircraft in the second half of the year.

Airbus which employs around 40,000 people from its Toulouse headquarters reported a 767-million-euro net loss for the third quarter of 2020.

In June the French government announced a a €15 billion euro support package for the aerospace sector. Minister for Finance Bruno Le Maire said it was primarily aimed at saving 300,000 direct and indirect jobs in the sector, as well as the 1,300 companies involved in the supply chain for the aerospace industry.

The bailout for airline Air France will allow it to progress its order for nearly 100 new Airbus planes. It includes 38 long-haul A350s.

Two French start-up companies benefitted from the EU’s first round of direct equity investments through the new European Innovation Council Fund.

15 million euros has been placed with CorWave in exchange for an equity stake in the region of 10 to 25 percent.

Corwave provides medical solutions for patients with advanced heart failure.

XSUN, a solar aircraft company which designs energy-independent drones is another of the French companies to receive investment under the fund.

A total of 159 start-ups across the EU have been selected for the first round of direct equity investments of 178 million euros.

This has been News from France, a weekly review in English, today Sunday 10 January 2021.

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