- Title: New French PM says any new coronavirus lockdown would be targeted
- Date: 8th July 2020
- Summary: PARIS, FRANCE (FILE - FEBRUARY 6, 2020) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PENSION REFORM PROTEST UNDERWAY
- Embargoed: 22nd July 2020 09:01
- Keywords: France Jean Castex coronavirus lockdown pension reform protests reconfinement second wave
- Location: PARIS, FRANCE
- City: PARIS, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA003CLY95XJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: New French Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Wednesday (July 8) that any new lockdown will be targeted, and not imposed nationwide, if there is a major new coronavirus outbreak.
The previous French government enforced a strict nationwide lockdown from mid-March to May 11 to try to curb the spread of COVID-19, and some restrictions on public gatherings are still in place.
"We must be ready for a second wave, but we would not proceed to a general lockdown like in March, as that has terrible economic and human consequences. Any new lockdown would be targeted," Castex told BFM television.
Castex, who was a civil servant and used to be an adviser to former President Nicolas Sarkozy, was appointed prime minister on Friday (July 3). He has put together a new team for the remaining two years of centrist President Emmanuel Macron's mandate.
He also said that talks with unions and employers about Macron's wide-ranging pension reforms - which were halted during the lockdown - would resume before July 20.
Castex has confirmed his government would commit 7.5 billion euros to raise the wages of hospital workers but said he would resist union calls to boost that to 9 billion, saying that state finances are under stress because of the coronavirus crisis.
(Production: Ardee Napolitano)
- Copyright Holder: FILE REUTERS (CAN SELL)
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