Discussions on Renault €5bn loan continue, French minister admitsEuropost
France’s Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told newspaper Le Figaro late on Thursday that he has not signed off on a €5bn state-guaranteed loan to help Renault cope with the fallout from the coronavirus, and that discussions continued.
Le Maire said the government was seeking commitments from carmakers in three areas in return for help: electric vehicles; the fair treatment of sub-contractors; and that they base hi-tech activities in France.“Renault is fighting for its survival,” Le Maire said in the interview. “I haven’t yet signed the loan.”
Sources told Reuters on Monday that Renault had reached an agreement on the loan with banks and that it should be submitted to the board of directors soon, before being formally approved by the finance ministry.
Le Maire said France’s response to the worst depression since World War Two totalled €450bn in aid and state guarantees - 20% of France’s annual national output. The government forecasts the Eurozone’s second-biggest economy will shrink at least 8% this year. Its budget deficit is set to hit a post-war record of 9% of economic output this year.
The EU has granted member countries all the fiscal leeway they need to deal with the economic impact of the coronavirus, enabling governments to open the spending taps and wave aside EU budget rules that limit government borrowing.