POLICY – Change of style. Often perceived as too techno and not empathetic enough, Jean Castex, whose popularity has been declining for several months, tried to initiate a change of tone vis-à-vis the sectors most affected by the crisis and its government management.
This November 26, he held a press conference to detail the different stages of the progressive deconfinement announced by Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday, November 24.
“We are attached to this French art of living”
Regarding the administrative closure of bars and restaurants, extended at least until January 20, the Prime Minister tried to give flesh to him. “This decidedly very pernicious virus forces us to close conviviality establishments”, he lamented, referring to this “French art de vivre”, to which “I am, we are attached”.
Jean Castex announced new financial solidarity measures for these establishments such as “a compensation of 20% of last year’s turnover” for those who have fixed costs greater than the 10,000 euros in aid from the fund. solidarity or even a support of 900 euros for the 400,000 “extras” of the sector who did not receive partial unemployment assistance.
Year 2021, year of gastronomy
More symbolic, but revealing of the particular attention he tries to give to the sector, Jean Castex suggests to “make 2021 the year of French gastronomy ”in order to“ encourage a resumption of consumption when the time comes ”and to show all the know-how“ of our bars and restaurants ”. The Prime Minister announces that he will appoint “a qualified personality”, one immediately thinks of Philippe Etchebest, figure of the wrath of restaurateurs, to “prepare this major project in connection with the profession ”.
Even tweezers with culture, often forgotten in government speeches linked to the crisis. “Culture has paid a heavy price, and I want to thank the artists, producers, actors of culture in general who have adapted each time since the month of March”, he greeted with a long list. , rare for this sector in the mouth of the Prime Minister. “The State will continue to support them,” he promised, welcoming that “booksellers, musical instrument stores, art galleries, libraries and archives” can reopen this Saturday. November 28.
“Culture has paid a heavy price”
Disappointment, however, with the famous “time stamp” announced by Emmanuel Macron to go to the show late at night despite the curfew, on the basis of the ticket. This will only be for sessions or shows ending at 9 p.m. Goodbye to the 20 hours screening so precious for cinemas.
“We will have to change our habits a little, organize our days differently”, confirmed the Minister of Culture, Roselyne Bachelot who said her “great happiness” to rediscover the “emotion” of opera, theater or cinema. No empathy, on the other hand, for nightclubs, many of which are facing legal redress which were not mentioned by the Prime Minister except after a question from the press. He has no date to propose for their reopening and was surprised that we could be surprised, pretending to appeal to common sense in view of the possibilities of contamination in these festive places.
Finally, the universities, which are also regularly forgotten by the speeches of the crisis, were only approached in favor of a press question on the subject. The Prime Minister made it clear that he was monitoring the situation closely and recalled the special youth measures listed a little earlier.
Faculties closed but new student helpers
20,000 student tutoring jobs in support of dropout students up to 10 hours per week will be created as well as the doubling of the CROUS budget to help 45,000 additional precarious students “to eat and find accommodation”. A strengthening of the youth plan to facilitate their professional integration is also planned for the Ministry of Labor.
Minister Élisabeth Borne clarified the measure: aid of 500 euros per month for students or young workers who arrive on the job market and who no longer have resources due to the crisis. She took the concrete example of a young graduate who lost her job as a waitress and who cannot find a job affected by the system. The Prime Minister thanked all those who had “brought up these individual cases which did not fit into the general system”.
From his preamble, he said “understand the anger” aroused by the confinement and its “share of distress and anxiety” and recalled the psychological aid system put in place by the State. A new tone that will do, perhaps, good for the French and their opinion curves.
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