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Macron claims 'first victory' against coronavirus

June 14, 2020

As France enters the "Green Zone" lower risk state against COVID-19 on Monday, Emmanuel Macron vows to prop up the economy along with the rest of Europe. France has been hit hard by the novel coronavirus.

A family watch French President Emmanuel Macron during a televised address to the nation

President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday has urged French citizens to prepare for the risks of a possible return of the coronavirus, as France enters the "Green Zone," a lower state of alert starting Monday, meaning that cafes and restaurants in the French capital can open in full and not just on terraces.

Read more: Coronavirus latest: France says Paris no longer 'red zone'

The French president said the new stage will allow the country to accelerate the reopening of the economy, adding that France has scored its first victory against the coronavirus.

"The fight against the epidemic is not finished but I am happy about this first victory against the virus," Macron said in an address to the nation.

Macron urged people to respect social distancing rules and learn how to live with the novel coronavirus, which has so far infected over 157,000 people and killed more than 29,000 people in the country.

France must build a strong, independent, ecologically sound, and equitable economy, Macron said, adding that the French reconstruction plan will be done along with Europe.

Macron said that France has mobilized around €500 billion ($562 billion) to revitalize the economy amid the coronavirus crisis, adding that his country needs to be less dependent on China.

Read more: Coronavirus: France, Germany propose €500 billion recovery fund

Fight against racism

Macron also spoke about anti-racism rallies  in solidarity with George Floyd, an African American man who died in police custody in the US last month.

Thousands attend Berlin anti-racism protest

The French leader vowed that France would be "uncompromising" in its fight against racism but would not try to erase elements of its history or take down statues of controversial public figures.

"We will be uncompromising against racism, anti-Semitism and discrimination. New decisions for equality will be taken," he said in his address.

"The Republic will not wipe away any trace or any name from its history. It will not forget any of its works. It will not take down any of its statues but lucidly look at our history and our memory together," he added.

Read more: France's COVID-19 brigades — fighting the virus at what cost?

shs/rc  (dpa, AFP, AP, Reuters)