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September 3, 2020, 11.07 PM

Focused mainly on boosting companies and due to run over two years, the plan does little to directly support consumer demand — traditionally the engine of French growth — in contrast to a €130 billion stimulus launched in spring in Germany with a value-added sales tax cut.

Macron's government is banking on the plan to return the Eurozone's second-biggest economy to pre-crisis levels of activity by 2022 after what is expected to be its worst post-war recession.

That timeline would restore Macron's record on the economy in case he decides to run for re-election in 2022 after the coronavirus crisis wiped out much of the economic gains made before then on growth and jobs.

Read also: German Economy Rebounding Faster Than Expected in 2020

The recovery plan aims to put Macron's pro-business push back on track, with already flagged cuts in business taxes worth €10 billion annually and fresh public funds to give a boost to France's industrial, construction and transport sectors.

Officials said the transport sector would get €11 billion with €4.7 billion targeting the rail network in particular, while energy-efficient building renovations would be spurred with €4 billion for public buildings and €2 billion for homes.

The hydrogen industry, increasingly seen as a key building block in the transition away from fossil fuels, would get €2 billion.

Another €1 billion euros would be offered in direct aid for industrial projects, including 600 million euros to help firms relocate plants abroad back to France.

Some €80 billion of the overall cost of the plan will weigh directly on the budget deficit, with EU subsidies offsetting €40 billion, officials said.

(Writer: Leigh Thomas | Editors: Marguerita Choy, John Stonestreet)


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