France unveils ‘massive’ 18 billion euro plan for hard-hit tourism sector

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France on Thursday announced measures worth 18 billion euros ($19 billion) to support its tourism sector, which has been hammered by the coronavirus crisis and resulting shutdown in beaches, leisure attractions and hotels.

“Tourism is facing what is probably its worst challenge in modern history,” Prime Minister Edouard Philippe told a news conference. “Because this is one of the crown jewels of the French economy, rescuing it is a national priority.”

“This very French pleasure, which is at the heart of our identity, to meet up, eat well and have a chat, has been compromised by the lockdown first, and then the conditions of lifting that lockdown,” Philippe said.

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