French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire on March 2 said that all G7 nations will take “concerted action” to limit the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on their economic growth, a news agency reported. He added that the finance ministers of the participant countries will discuss the best plan of action over the phone this week. France along with Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States constitute the G7.
While speaking to a French media outlet, Le Maire said that there would be concerted action. He further said that on February 28, he spoke with G7 president, the US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and this week he will have a telephonic meeting with all G7 finance ministers to coordinate their responses. He added that he would also speak with European Central Bank chief Christine Lagarde.
Talking about the viral outbreak, Le Maire reportedly said that he expected the crisis to “shave only 0.1 per cent points off French economic growth” this year when the epidemic was limited to the Chinese mainland. However, now that the outbreak is reaching other nations, its impact on the French economy will be “more significant” before adding that it was too early to provide new numbers. According to reports, hotel, restaurant, air transport and event industries were the worst hit sectors in France.
France reportedly announced on February 29, that it was banning any assembly of more than 5,000 people in limited spaces amidst the Coronavirus outbreak. France has also urged its citizens not to greet each other with the traditional French gesture of kissing another's cheeks. The announcement came as the government stepped up containment efforts to curb the nationwide spread of COVID-19, as per international news reports. Meanwhile, the number of infected cases in France has reportedly reached 130, including two dead and nine in a serious condition.
(With inputs from agencies)