After casting France into lethargic sleep, its government began spending tens and hundreds of billions of euros to maintain artificial respiration of the nation
VICTOR LOUPAN, Head of the Editorial Board
France is the most revolution-addicted country in Europe. Earlier the definition “revolutionary” meant “naughty”. But everything is different now. The French surprised themselves by their manageability. The sanitary crisis caused by Coronavirus turned the country into the “Sleeping Beauty”, but its sleep was rather lethargic than romantic.
During lethargic sleep the body maintains its vital functions, however with their severe reduction: the body temperature drops, breathing and pulse rate slow down. It is difficult to choose a more precise definition to describe the events happening in France over the months of massive voluntary-mandatory isolation.
Lethargic sleep is also called an “apparent death”. There are some cases where people falling into lethargic sleep were treated as dead bodies and buried alive. There is an opinion that Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol was buried that way. Marina Tsvetaeva was very much afraid of it too. But what happened most often was a further reviviscence. Ivan Pavlov, Russian biologist, described the case of the peasant Kachalkin who had slept over 22 years in a row! After awakening in good health, Kachalkin however died literally in a few weeks due to “cardiac failure”.
After casting France into lethargic sleep, its government began spending tens and hundreds of billions of euros to maintain artificial respiration of the nation: all and any possible overall subventions created the illusion of the normal course of life: like you do not work but you continue earning. Small businesses (shops, restaurants, etc.) also received aid. Corporations remained even behind the discussion – they got huge amounts of assistance.
But everything has an end. It has been found then that the debt hole of the country reached unreal values. It equals to 125% GDP now. To be fair, it should be noted that the France’s debt already was impressive prior to the sanitary crisis reaching 98% GDP. When compared to other countries, Russia’s debt equals to 4% and China’s debt reaches 14% (according to the statistics provided by the CIA, US).
A debt hole was always perceived as a potential killer for the developed countries. Similar to the other eurozone member states, the problem in France is worsening due to absence of own currency. The United States of America can operate “printing presses” where necessary. France does not own such tools. The European Central Bank borrows funds and then distributes them on credit among the EU member states, preferably being in good standing. For example, Greece was refused again, fully or partially.
A gradual way out of this lethargic sleep changed into the ice bucket for the French. They were suddenly declared that the national economy would go down by 11%, that would result in unemployment increasing by four million people by the end of 2020.
France is not the only country finding itself in such a sad state. The European Union, the largest union of the countries in the world which population totals 450 million people, suffered its worst time. Almost a half of COVID-19 related deaths accrues to the EU. With France being among the bad rating leaders due to its death rate, the quarantine duration and severe restrictions.
When extrapolated to the full year, as it is commonly calculated by statistics experts in the USA, the annual rates of economic collapse in Europe exceeded 13% over the Q1 2020 (compare it to 4.8% in the USA). China would avoid such shrink and even expect 1.2% growth.
When speaking before all the national radio and TV channels on June 14, President Macron spoke smugly, affirming that everything was done correctly and professionally. Official mass media which always supported the President, supported him again with a great passion. But, to his sorrow, such national medical stars as professors Toussaint and Raoult, declared that the epidemics ended just because it got commonly “exhausted”, there would be no “second wave” and, generally, the national-wide quarantine and overall mandatory isolation displayed irrational maximalism.
At the same time, according to some “unintended” leaks from the French secret service, the country may face mass disorders in September which may become seriously dangerous.
Actually, they already got started, like in other western countries, after the killing of George Floyd in the USA. However, in contract to many other states, France unexpectedly revealed the person of another black man, Adama Traore, who was killed during his arrest, also after asphyxia, but four years ago.
Disorders resulted in a very strange thing. Christophe Castaner, a French Minister of the Interior, who always defended police officers with might and main, while they were grimly whacking “yellow vests” over many consequent months causing awful injuries to them, suddenly changed his mind accusing the French police of racism. And calling on “urgent measures” to punish police officers in case of “considerable suspicion”. It did not only bring the guardians of order to angriness – they went outside for the protest demonstration showering the roads with handcuffs and other professional belongings. And their “representative labour unions” required the rambling Minister to express his apologies, adding that otherwise he would never count on them.
Security apparatus insiders argue that Castaner would never have such speech without the order from above. So, this is a blatant error omitted by Macron.
That is why awakening of France is very similar to awakening of the peasant Kachalkin after lethargic sleep.