Bruno The Mayor denouncing “provocation” of the United States

New dustup between France and the United States on the taxation of the giants of the digital. The French finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, has denounced this Thursday, June 18 a “provocation “ of the United States, who have announced by letter their willingness to “do not continue “ the negotiations within the Organization of economic cooperation and development (OECD) on the taxation of the Glasses.

The minister has indicated that they have received “ a letter from the secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin” in which Washington ad doesn’t want to” continue negotiations at the OECD on the taxation of digital “. Counterparts in British, Italian and Spanish Bruno Le Maire also had knowledge of this document according to the minister.

→ TO READ ALSO. Washington said no to the tax Gafa

“This letter is a provocation “, he lamented, ensuring that France, the United Kingdom, Italy and Spain had already responded to Us to confirm in a letter their willingness to obtain “a fair taxation of the digital to the OECD as soon as possible “.

A charge maintained ” whatever happens “

“We were within inches of an agreement on the taxation of the giants of the digital, that may be the only ones in the world to have drawn huge profits from the coronavirus “stressed Bruno Le Maire.

→ TO READ ALSO. The Covid is delaying the tax Gafam and makes it more necessary

“Is the United States going back on their position and arrive at an agreement by the end of the year 2020 and it is international taxation that will apply (…), either there was no agreement at the OECD, because the United States is the only country to block, in this case we will apply our national duty “, he hammered adding that France would apply a tax to the giants of the digital “whatever happens “.

A promise made then that Paris had decided in January to postpone to the end of the year the collection of this tax, already implemented at the time of the French scale, to allow time for the negotiations to succeed. At the end of January, 137 countries had agreed to achieve by the end of 2020 to an agreement on the taxation of multinationals, under the aegis of the OECD.

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Bruno Le Maire is also on LinkedIn

If politicians have long expressed interest in debates on Facebook, Bruno Le Maire has decided to inaugurate a new communication channel.

→ LIVE. Coronavirus: the latest news in France and worldwide on May 4

Barely finished an intervention on the radio in the morning, it was on the LinkedIn site, the social network devoted to the professional world, that the Minister of the Economy worked on Monday May 4 to respond to the calls of the actors of the economic world.

Worried little bosses

Before the opening of the video session, questions already abounded from restaurant owners, gyms or training centers, managers of clothing stores or vacation centers, freelancers or creators of companies. Most of the questions focused on the difficulties specific to their sector or their company, but nevertheless revealed recurring concerns.

The question of rents, in particular, has often returned to the merchant side. The minister recalled the agreement obtained from the major land groups to cancel three months’ rent for the smallest businesses. But Bruno Le Maire recognizes this, this will only affect 10 to 15% of these smaller companies.

The others are therefore invited to enter into negotiations with their owner. ” It is right that the rent should go down and it is in everyone’s interest to avoid the proliferation of bankruptcies Says the Minister.

“Economy on a drip”

Another subject that often comes up is the upcoming reduction in the partial unemployment system, which already worries many employers. ” We cannot live sustainably with an economy on a drip, financed by public funds “Replied the Minister, deeming it therefore necessary” to progressively evolve, I mean progressively, the system To encourage people to return to work. The priority, he explained, is ” to keep public money for sectors that have no other choice »And will remain permanently impacted, like catering or tourism.

Faced with business leaders who demand visibility, Bruno Le Maire assured that a possible postponement of the deconfinement would not concern the resumption of economic activities. He also once again promised that the government would announce the ” date and protocols For the reopening of cafes or leisure establishments.

The challenge of recovery

While several employees of the company Corsair had met on the site to question the minister on the assistance given to Air France, the latter replied that the state could obviously help other airlines. With one condition, however: ” that shareholders also do their part of the way

→ EXPLANATION. France and the Netherlands at the head of the Air France-KLM flagship

Bruno Le Maire also warned that once the deconfinement had passed, the hardest thing would probably begin. The period before the return to normal will be long and marked by two risks, he pointed out: a problem of solvency of companies which can lead to an increase in bankruptcies, and a possible acceleration of layoffs as long as activity remains slowed down .

This transition period is likely to last for months and probably years. It looks like ” a challenge “, Noted Bruno Le Maire because for the first time” we will have to work with a virus that continues to circulate and for which we do not have a vaccine

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all non-food businesses will be able to reopen

Non-food distributors can see the end of the tunnel. The Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, clarified on Thursday morning on Franceinfo that all should reopen on May 11, regardless of the type of activity or the size of stores, as is the case in Germany, for example. “We are coming out of the crisis phase, we will enter a second phase of transition in which activity will resume, explained Bruno Le Maire. We hope that all businesses can reopen on May 11. For the sake of fairness, I simply leave aside restaurants, bars and cafes, which will be subject to specific treatment. “

This is a relief for most non-food merchants, who anticipate their reopening. “We have at least one date that allows us to get into battle order to prepare for customer reception, order merchandise or even organize communication, explains William Koeberlé, president of the French Trade Council. Some uncertainties still remain, but we hope that they will be resolved as early as next week.

50% drop in activity

Bercy still does not exclude to authorize this reopening only after May 11 in certain regions more affected by the virus. “The situation is not the same in Nouvelle-Aquitaine or Île-de-France, where the virus circulates a lot. It will be up to the health authorities to make recommendations to us“Said Bruno Le Maire. The Minister’s intention, however, is to reopen all businesses on May 11 as much as possible.

Distributors anticipate a 50% drop in activity after containment

This does not mean that all the brands that will have the right to do so. DIY stores, which were allowed to open during containment, remained mostly closed. Distributors anticipate a 50% drop in activity after containment, which could encourage them to restrict their opening hours, or to open only part of their stores.

The appointment on Thursday of Jeanne-Marie Prost, former president of the Observatory on payment deadlines, as mediator of rents is a second reason for satisfaction for distributors. Under the aegis of Bercy, the main donor federations undertook last week to cancel three months of rent for very small businesses which were forced to lower the curtain.

If the measure has been welcomed by the companies concerned, the problem remains unresolved for the largest brands, while rent can represent up to 20% of turnover. The distributors are demanding that the lessors take their share of the burden by canceling the rents due during the closure period, and by indexing them, after the confinement, to the turnover achieved.

We welcome the appointment of Jeanne-Marie Prost, whom we welcome with great hope, explain 16 merchant federations. We approach this rent mediation with a constructive spirit and will be proactive in reaching an acceptable agreement. ”

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The State supports Fnac-Darty

INFO LE FIGARO – The distributor benefits from the public guarantee on a bank loan of 500 million euros. A first for a large group.

Enrique Martinez, CEO of Fnac-Darty.
Enrique Martinez, CEO of Fnac-Darty. AFP

Since mid-March, Fnac-Darty has had to lower the curtain on all its stores. In France, in Belgium, in Spain, the distributor found himself overnight closed door and with, therefore, a big potential problem of cash before him.

Suffice to say that the distributor was an ideal “client” for the public guarantee scheme for bank loans set up in the amending finance law of 23 March. “We were the pioneers”, explains to Le Figaro Enrique Martinez, the group’s general manager. Fnac-Darty indeed concluded on Saturday April 19 the first “State guaranteed loan” (PGE) in the heavyweight category, those of companies with more than 5 billion euros in turnover. “This shows our agility,” says the boss of the group.

The “pool” of banks coordinated by Crédit Agricole – Arkéa, BNP Paribas, Bred, CIC, Crédit Agricole CIB, La Banque Postale, LCL, Natixis CIB and Société Générale – therefore grants a credit of 500 million

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France wants to forego benefits from EU construction funds

Paris Solidarity in the Covid 19 crisis in Europe – yes, but how? After France and Germany have reached a compromise between the finance ministers for an aid package, they now appear to be dividing again. Anyway, President Emmanuel Macron leaves one in late this week Interview with the “Financial Times” a pretty cold wind blowing towards Berlin. The government of the Netherlands also gets their fat off.

The president accuses both countries of not doing enough for a fair burden-sharing within Europe. Macron fears that this will endanger the cohesion of the EU and the euro and could make populists in Italy, Spain and France victorious.

He finds the harshest words about Germany. Macron formulates the impression that must be created in the south of the EU: “They are only for Europe when it comes to exporting their goods, finding workers for the auto parts that they no longer manufacture themselves, but no more, when it comes to sharing the burden. “The danger for Europe is” obvious, because people will say: What kind of trip are you taking us with you? “said the President.

These are words that are no longer reminiscent of the appreciative statements that Macron’s finance minister Bruno Le Maire found three days ago: He praised the good Franco-German cooperation that had enabled a compromise by the European finance ministers.

In the interview, Macron once again advertises the European “Fund for Reconstruction”, which he himself proposed. The fund, which is worth several hundred billion euros, is intended to award grants to the countries most affected by the corona crisis. Currently, that would be Italy, Spain and France. With almost 18,000 corona deaths, France has almost as many victims as Spain, which after Italy suffered the most from the epidemic.

France wants to do more itself

The crisis is also having an economic impact. France submitted a supplementary budget on Wednesday, which envisages a shrinking GDP of eight percent and a government budget deficit of nine percent this year.

How does France see solidarity itself – does it want to be one of the beneficiaries of the fund? When asked about the Handelsblatt, the Elysée is somewhat irritated: “Everyone should be aware that France is a net contributor not only for the EU budget, but for all financial instruments.”

Right, but if, as requested by Paris, the degree of Covid concern determines how much money a country receives from the fund, but the repayments depend on its share of the EU’s economic power (GDP) – then France would not be automatic a transfer recipient? And wouldn’t even the much poorer Eastern Member States pay for the richer ones?

The Elysée does not accept that. The criteria are not yet clear. Belgium and the Netherlands also suffered severely from the crisis, with the eastern countries having only a small share of GDP. Finally, the key phrase is clear: “France is working on the fund with the prospect of being a net contributor.” This suggests that Macron not only calls on Germany and the Netherlands to show more solidarity, but is also willing to do more .

But another statement by the president could cause upset in Berlin and The Hague. Macron indirectly accuses the northern states of breaking the aid rules of the EU treaty. Competition within the internal market is distorted.

The state guarantees currently promised by the individual countries for their companies would have a far greater effect in the north of the EU than in the south: “Does the guarantee of the Spanish state have the same weight as that of the German one? Of course not! ”Says Macron. This is equivalent to a subsidy in favor of companies from the richer member states, which is prohibited in the EU treaty.

Elysée: No allegations to other countries

In addition, the states financed themselves on very different terms. “I’m not exempting France, I have a few percentage points advantage over spreads (differences in interest rates) compared to Spain.” All of this is a compelling argument for achieving a fair burden sharing within the EU.

Upon request, the Elysée tries to take the edge off the words of the President. He had made no accusation against other countries, but only wanted to point out a problem.

The EU Commission currently allows state subsidies and has overridden the strict state aid bans. That is good, but it does not solve the difficulty that the “financial firepower” is very different between the states. Care should be taken not to create new economic imbalances.

It will be interesting to see how Berlin will react to the Macron statements. On April 23, the heads of state and government will once again speak at a video conference about a common strategy against the crisis.

More: “The future of the EU as a political continent, as an economic power, is at stake,” said French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire.

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Paris also saves older bankruptcy candidates

FRankreich does not want any company to go under in the wake of the Corona crisis. “We will find a solution for everyone,” promised French Finance and Economics Minister Bruno Le Maire in a radio and television interview, even announcing direct government loans. France has installed various rescue systems, most notably state guarantees for bank loans to companies of EUR 300 billion. But these only cover 90 percent of the loan amounts, for the rest the banks have to take risks.

Christian Schubert

The state investment bank BPI also provides liquidity loans. But companies that have particularly poor credit ratings due to past economic difficulties cannot benefit from it. In future, these will be provided with credit directly from the Ministry of Finance. To do this, it reactivated the FDES fund, which was set up in the 1950s and whose funds for emergency loans rose from EUR 75 million to EUR 1 billion, and which should concentrate on companies with at least 350 employees.

So far, 200,000 companies have applied for state-guaranteed bank loans

This is the law for grants in the wake of the Corona crisis, which is currently being discussed in Parliament. The fund will be managed by the Industrial Restructuring Committee, Ciri. It is a kind of final state bailout if all other actors refuse to help. The French government is putting a lot of pressure on banks to refuse as few credit requests as possible. Le Maire will ensure that the rejection rate is no more than “two to three” percent. This also corresponds to the current status, reports the banking association.

So far, 200,000 companies have applied for state-guaranteed bank loans for funds of 30 billion euros. Le Maire, who estimates the duration of the crisis to be several years, also called for the large property owners to accommodate the tenants. They should not only give small companies three months’ rent, but waive them. In an interview with the “Financial Times”, President Emmanuel Macron renewed his criticism of the alleged lack of solidarity in Europe, without naming Germany directly. In countries like Italy, people could permanently turn away from the EU. Certain countries are only for Europe when it comes to exporting products or importing workers. “But they are not for Europe when it comes to sharing burdens.” The EU is also a political project. “We need financial transfers and solidarity,” Macron said.

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“Future of the EU is at stake”

Brussels, Paris France’s Economics and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire sees the Covid 19 pandemic as the worst crisis in the history of the EU. Speaking to several European newspapers, including the Handelsblatt, he says that “the future of the EU as a political continent, as a monetary union and as an economic power is at stake”.

But Le Maire quickly comes to the points that have yet to be clarified by the heads of state and government. This particularly affects the EU fund for economic reconstruction.

So far it is not clear what scope it should have, nor how it should work. Le Maire leaves no doubt that his country will only be able to reach an agreement at the summit of EU heads of state and government with this fund, which could possibly amount to a trillion euros: “The package has four pillars.”

France has advocated “novel financing instruments” to fill the fund. “We are not proposing euro bonds, but a new type of financing.” France now wants to avoid “a dispute over terms”, but will make the demand for euro bonds again in the future.

But how exactly should the new financing work? The French minister is well prepared, as if he had already discussed the issue intensively with his German colleague Olaf Scholz.

A scheme like the ESM (European Stability Mechanism) might be acceptable to the federal government. Each country stands for a share in the total capital that corresponds to its share in the economic output (GDP) of the EU. This is 26.9 percent for Germany and 20.2 percent for France. The term euro bond is avoided.

By contrast, joint and several liability, in which each state would be liable for the entire new fund, is a red line for Berlin. Le Maire is willing to compromise here: “Joint and several liability would be the best option, but we are also open to the idea of ​​partial liability by the Member States depending on their share of GDP.”

Every government must take a step towards the other Member States. France is “ready to compromise, provided there is a joint debt issue.”

That should only apply to the future, so it should not constitute a communitization of old debts. It should only apply to investments that should not be decided by the individual state, but by the EU Commission. Finally, the fund should only exist for a limited number of years. The investments should be made in three to five years, then “over a period of ten to 20 years” will be repaid.

Investments for particularly affected countries

The fund’s expenditure side is also unclear. Should it suffice loans or payments as in the case of the EU budget? Le Maire is categorical: “The fund is clearly intended for public expenditure through grants.” He spoke “not of loans”.

The investments should flow primarily to the countries most affected by the Covid crisis, be it through the number of victims or the severity of the economic downturn. Criteria still have to be found.

You decide who becomes a net recipient – presumably Italy and Spain, perhaps also France – and who ultimately pays off more than he received. Because, according to Le Maire, the national share of EU GDP should be repaid. “It is a matter of justice to support countries like Italy, Spain and some others affected by the Covid 19 crisis.”

According to EU diplomats, the planned reconstruction fund itself cannot pay out grants, but can only grant repayable loans – either to the member states or to the EU budget.

Debt rules should pause for a long time

From the latter, the EU could then issue non-repayable transfers to countries particularly affected by the corona crisis – and finance this indirectly with funds from the reconstruction fund.

In that case, the EU as a whole would stand for the reconstruction fund loans – not the individual member states. The reconstruction fund can thus become a redistribution instrument – via the EU budget.

In the conversation, Le Maire comes to another point that has political explosive power: the EU debt rules were overridden in the corona crisis, but when should they apply again?

Le Maire argues for a long break: he is convinced that “we will support the economic recovery as long as it is necessary and that we should not reintroduce the fiscal rules too soon, as this would clearly jeopardize the recovery”.

More: “Worse than after the financial crisis” – EU plans multi-billion dollar reconstruction funds. Read more here.

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“We must help Air France, and we will,” promises Bruno Le Maire

The Air France soldier must be saved. This is one of the great messages passed by Bruno Le Maire this morning on RTL. The Minister of Economy and Finance announced the establishment of two new budgetary envelopes arrowed towards “large strategic companies»And to SMEs. He also announced that the plan to support the economy now reaches 110 billion euros. In parallel on Europe 1, the Minister of Action and Public Accounts Gérald Darmanin affirmed that 750 million euros in charge cancellation would be granted for companies in the hotel and catering, art and entertainment sectors.

“Checklist” to reopen a business

Much of our economy continues to function, first assured Bruno Le Maire. We went from 50% to 60% of industry openings in a week. But above all, we want our economy to restart safely. For this we will follow three steps. First, by helping us with feedback from companies that remained open during containment. Then by establishing a national framework, a sort of ‘checklist’ of the procedures to be followed and the equipment necessary to restart the activity safely. Finally, sector by sector, we will identify the specific needs for each sector for recovery.

The Minister of Economy and Finance then spoke of the new figures for the plan to support the French economy, data that keeps on flying away, week after week. So we went from 45 billion euros in aid planned at the start of confinement to 110 billion this Wednesday morning, including 24 billion to finance the 8.7 million French people today on partial unemployment.

Bruno Le Maire also announced the implementation of two new aids. The first is an envelope of 20 billion euros intended for “large strategic companiesLike Air France. “We will support Air France in the coming days, did he promise. The state must come to the aid of its large strategic enterprises. We must help Air France and we will.

He also announced the introduction of repayable advances of 500 million euros to companies that are “too fragileFor banks to give them credit. The objective is to be able to pay suppliers as soon as the activity resumes, and to reimburse the State “later

Finally, Bruno Le Maire announced that he wanted “to broaden»The solidarity fund for very small businesses, initially planned at 1 billion euros and now estimated at 7 billion. “We will include in this assistance companies in receivership” he said. In addition, the additional aid of 2,000 euros decided on a case-by-case basis for companies in great difficulty may be reassessed up to 5,000 euros.

Cancellation of charges

For his part, Gérald Darmanin assured that 900,000 independents had already requested this aid of 1,500 euros from the solidarity fund. He added that the deferral of charges for businesses was already reaching 12 billion euros out of the 35 initially planned, and that certain sectors such as hotels and restaurants, the arts and entertainment would be able to cancel these charges purely. “A 750 million envelope euros is provided for this purposeAssured the minister.

In addition, Gérald Darmanin announced that 300 million euros would be released to distribute a bonus of 1000 euros for civil servants who had to face an increase in activity since the arrival of the coronavirus.

Regarding the resumption of public transport finally, Bruno Le Maire remained very vague, judging that it was avery complicated questionAnd that it was up to the Minister responsible for Transport Élisabeth Borne to decide.

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Should we “work a little more” and give up paid days off after confinement?

DECRYPTION – The president of Medef Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux made this proposal, calling for a “space for debate” at the start of the school year.

Through Louis Heidsieck

Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux assured that these measures
Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux assured that these measures “ can only be done in social dialogue ERIC PIERMONT / AFP

You will have to ask yourself the question sooner or later of working time, public holidays and paid holidays [[..] by working a little more. “ In an interview with Figaro , the president of Medef Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux urged companies and their employees to work more as soon as they emerge from confinement, even if it means giving up a few days off.

This outing provoked many reactions, from unions on the one hand, but also from Bruno Le Maire who qualified the proposal as “funny idea” If the boss of Medef has since partly back-pedaled while ensuring that the debate was “for now“Closed, however, he called for a”space for debate»Is open at the start of the school year on this subject with the social partners. Concretely, certain mechanisms already make it possible to extend the weekly working time and to require employees to ask for paid holidays over certain periods. And their impact on growth is not negligible.

“Pénicaud Orders”

Regarding the postponement or cancellation

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France obtains a moratorium on the debts of poor countries

For Bruno Le Maire, Minister of the Economy, this is a first response to “the absolute economic emergency” for 76 of the poorest countries, including 40 in sub-Saharan Africa.

“The President of the Republic called for debt cancellation. This moratorium is already a major step
“The President of the Republic called for debt cancellation. This moratorium is already a major step ”, welcomes Bruno Le Maire, Minister of the Economy BENOIT TESSIER / REUTERS

During his televised address on Monday evening, Emmanuel Macron called for helping African countries by “Massively canceling their debts”. Without immediate erasure, a moratorium is being put in place.

The G20 countries should confirm on Wednesday the suspension of 20 billion dollars of payments on 32 billion planned this year for 76 the poorest countries of the world, including 40 in sub-Saharan Africa. This is a $ 12 billion deferral due to bilateral creditors and the refinancing of $ 8 billion in debt to private creditors. There is still an ongoing debate over 12 billion maturities due from multilateral creditors, a large part of them from the World Bank.

France prides itself on having been a driving force in this decision since the start of the crisis. “The President of the Republic called for debt cancellation. This moratorium is already a major step ”, welcomes Minister of Economy Bruno Le Maire, who stresses that China has accepted

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