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French Prime Minister Says Social, Economic Crisis Is ‘Starting’

A social and economic crisis “is starting” in France as the health crisis persists, new Prime Minister Jean Castex said Saturday in his first comments to the media since he was appointed a day earlier by President Emmanuel Macron.

Castex spoke after visiting semi-conductor manufacturer X-Fab France’s plant in Corbeil-Essonnes, near Paris, choosing the facility as a symbol of “the current situation and our objectives,” he said. Beyond a short-term target to minimize the expected surge in unemployment caused by the Covid-19 crisis, the government’s ultimate objective is to bring jobs back to France and retain industrial positions exposed to competition.

Castex replaces outgoing Premier Edouard Philippe as Macron seeks to inject new energy to his presidency two years into his term.

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