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Facing resurgent virus infections, France's government unveiled details Thursday of a 100 billion euro ($118 billion) recovery plan aimed at creating jobs, saving struggling businesses and pulling the country out of its worst economic slump since World War II.

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"This recovery plan aims to keep our economy from collapsing and unemployment exploding," Prime Minister Jean Castex told RTL radio ahead of the presentation.

He said the government aimed to create at least 160,000 jobs next year thanks to the plan and restore Frances economic growth levels of 2019 by 2022 – the year of Frances next presidential elections.

Called “France Reboot,” the stimulus package earmarks 35 billion euros to make the economy more competitive, 30 billion for more environmentally friendly energy policies and 25 billion for supporting jobs, officials said.

The stimulus equates to 4% of gross domestic product, meaning France is ploughing more public cash into its economy than any other big European country as a percentage of GDP, an official said ahead of its formal launch.

France's recession, marked by a 13.8% second quarter GDP contraction that coincided with the country's Covid-19 lockdown and is set to generate an 11% drop in 2020 as a whole, has also been one of Europe's deepest.

French President Emmanuel Macron's government is banking on the plan to return the eurozone's second biggest economy to pre-crisis levels of activity by 2022 after what is expected to be its worst post-war recession.

That timeline would restore Macron's record on the economy in case he decides to run for re-election in 2022 after the coronavirus crisis wiped out much of the economic gains made before then on growth and jobs.

The recovery plan aims to put Macron's pro-business push back on track, with already flagged cuts in business taxes worth 10 billion euros annually and fresh public funds to give a boost to France's industrial, construction and transport sectors.

Officials said the tranRead More – Source