The French government is ready to use all measures to offer support to major companies suffering during the financial market turmoil, including nationalisation if such necessity arises, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Tuesday.
"I won't hesitate to use all means available to protect big French companies," Le Maire said on a conference call with journalists, as quoted by Reuters.
"That can be done by recapitalisation, that can be done by taking a stake, I can even use the term nationalisation if necessary," Le Maire added, as quoted by the agency.
France has also promised a package of measures worth some €45bn to help companies and employees withstand the pandemic-linked storm, the minister said, as quoted by the Financial Times. This package would include payments to temporarily redundant workers and postponed tax and social security bills. The aid measures also include €300bn of state guarantees for bank loans to businesses and €1tn of such guarantees from European institutions, Le Maire said, as cited by the paper.
France has the seventh-highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases after China, Italy, Iran, Spain, South Korea and Germany.
On Monday evening, French President Emmanuel Macron addressed the nation over the new coronavirus outbreak and ordered a stricter lockdown across the entire country to stop the spread of the deadly virus.