COVID-19: Minister details support for French citizens abroad
French citizens abroad – Government strategy of assistance for French citizens abroad – Reply by M. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, to a question in the National Assembly
Paris, 5 May 2020
First of all, thank you for paying tribute to the work done by the teams in my ministry, both at the crisis centre and in posts abroad. This work has facilitated the return today of 182,000 of our nationals, who were abroad, sometimes in extreme conditions, be it in the Andes or the Philippines, to go back to two cases which have been of particular concern to me.
I’d also like to say, as regards our compatriots living abroad, that we advised them, as in fact have all European countries, to remain in the country that they’ve made their home. But obviously that makes sense only if we can provide them with the necessary health, social and educational support. This is why, under the Prime Minister’s authority, Gérald Darmanin, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne and I proposed a plan which ensures both support and specific medical measures, and is now being deployed, either through remote monitoring, remote consultations, medicines, potential medical evacuations – a coherent package; or by a school bursaries scheme and direct social security payments which will amount to roughly €100 million; or, finally, through support for the AEFE [Agency for French Education Abroad] which will help all directly run, government-approved or partner schools, and all families – French or otherwise – with additional funding of €100 million, thanks to an advance from France Trésor. So we’ve established coherent measures.
Regarding quarantine measures, let me reiterate to you – even though you’re already aware – that the bill to extend the state of emergency, currently being debated in Parliament, makes it legally possible – legally possible – for them to be applied to anyone entering France, should this be needed for health reasons, with regard to individual countries. But inside the European area, at this stage, given how the pandemic is currently evolving, these quarantine measures do not need to be applied at this stage./.