France Would Need Partners for Second Fiscal Push, Le Maire Says
France would require investment partnerships with European countries if it decides to increase the size of its economic recovery program in September, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said.
In comments that add to the drumbeat of calls for Europe to consider more stimulus, Le Maire said European involvement would come as part of France’s review of its existing 100 billion euro ($122 billion) program.
The government will consult with labor unions, businesses, and political leaders over the summer and decide in September on whether to modify or increase its national plan.
“There are three conditions for the success of an investment plan in September: a fundamental analysis of needs this summer; a selection process to not scatter the money; and European partners who participate in this investment plan,” Le Maire said on France Info radio before traveling to Brussels to meet with EU officials later Monday.
France has already called for a discussion on how to help the EU rebound faster from the pandemic, even before the first disbursements from the bloc’s 800 billion-euro recovery fund. Fueling the French push is a worry that Europe’s economy would emerge from the crisis much weaker than the U.S. and China.
President Emmanuel Macron has described possible changes to France’s plans in September as a “second phase” of stimulus.
“If we want success in a strategy for hydrogen, space launchers, or artificial intelligence, we need to rally our strengths together,” Le Maire said.
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