The eco decryption. What risk for the economy in the event of re-containment?

The empty parking lots of a Renault factory in full containment. Illustrative photo. (LOU BENOIST / AFP)

The risk of putting the economy on the ground this time is in everyone’s mind. A few days ago, Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux, the president of Medef, warned: “If we refine, we will see the collapse of the economy.”

His counterpart for small and medium-sized enterprises, François Asselin, spoke “collapse.” Everyone is afraid to see companies already weakened, indebted by months of crisis, this time put the key under the door especially since this period before Christmas is essential for many sectors of our economy, in particular the services. This is normally a period of high consumption. It is therefore to limit the breakage that a priori, the modalities of this reconfinement will be different. The government wants to do everything to maintain activity. The first thing is to leave schools open to avoid childcare problems, and to allow employees and the self-employed to work. There should be a list of businesses that will be able to remain open with more exceptions than in the spring. The objective is to avoid having an economy totally at a standstill, as we experienced in March / April.

Teleworking must be massively implemented even if it will not be made compulsory. With this re-containment, we can expect an evolution of the national occupational health and safety protocol. because to date, in this protocol, teleworking is a practice whose recourse is “recommended a few days a week “.

For employees whose position does not allow teleworking, the government also announced Tuesday, October 27 that partial unemployment will be maintained at a full level until at least December 31, that is to say, support for employees up to 84% of their net salary with 15% remaining payable by the employer. But the goal is also to avoid having 12 million private sector employees on short-time work, as at the height of the first confinement, because the bill had been steep for public finances.

Bruno Le Maire, the Minister of the Economy, said a few days ago that a general reconfinement would cost up to 20 times more than a “simple” curfew, ie 15 to 20 billion euros per month. It looks like we are there. The cost to public finances will therefore be abysmal.

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