COVID-19 to cost France 424 bn euros over three years: minister

Published April 14, 2021, 6:54 AM

by Agence-France-Presse

The COVID-19 pandemic will set the French state back nearly half a trillion euros over three years in additional spending and reduced tax revenues, the government said Tuesday.

The health crisis cost the state an estimated 158 billion euros in 2020, a figure set to rise to 171 billion in 2021 but then fall back to 96 billion euros in 2022, Public Accounts Minister Olivier Dussopt told Le Figaro daily.

The figures, which the finance ministry confirmed to AFP, bring the estimated cost of the pandemic to 424 billion euros ($504 billion) between 2020 and 2022.

They include money spent on supporting the salaries of people on furlough during the pandemic and aid for companies struggling to stay afloat during the crisis.

France has borrowed heavily to try keep the economy afloat through three nationwide lockdowns.

Public debt is forecast to reach 118 percent of GDP this year while the budget deficit is expected to hit 9 percent of GDP, a postwar record.