France’s ‘boss of bosses’: We are in favour of the health pass
The head of France’s largest employers’ federation, Medef, says his members are in favour of the health pass required to access restaurants, cinemas, long-distance transport and other businesses in France. Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux tells FRANCE 24 that the pass - which proves a person has been vaccinated or tested negative for Covid-19 - is the “only way out” of the crisis caused by the pandemic.
Tens of thousands of people have joined weekly protests against the pass in France in recent weeks.
The president of Medef says that while the measure doesn’t seem to be impacting business at restaurants, revenues at cinemas, theatres and large shopping centres are down by up to 30 percent.
“We need the health pass because there is no other solution. The only thing we say is that we don’t want it forever. As soon as we can get rid of the health pass, let’s stop it,” Roux de Bézieux says.
Speaking at Medef’s annual end-of-summer conference, Roux de Bézieux says he is cautious about the state of the French economy, despite the positive indicators relating to growth and unemployment.
The business group’s concerns about labour shortages and the rising cost of raw materials were echoed by the entrepreneurs who spoke to FRANCE 24 at the event.
Medef does not expect a wave of bankruptcies to result from the government phasing out its Covid-19 financial support for businesses, although Roux de Bézieux acknowledges there will be a “catch up” after a drop in 2020.
"There will be some bankruptcies - bankruptcy is part of a normal business cycle - but not a wave," he says.
The French finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, is set to meet representatives of the culture, tourism and hospitality industries on August 30 to discuss maintaining some support for sectors still suffering losses due to Covid-19 restrictions.
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