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Entertainment "Stay open": a few dozen bar owners demonstrate in Paris

22:45  27 september  2020
22:45  27 september  2020 Source:   nouvelobs.com

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  « Restons ouverts »: quelques dizaines de patrons de bars manifestent à Paris © Copyright 2020, L'Obs

A few dozen restaurant owners, bar and nightclub owners and representatives of the hotel and catering sector gathered on Sunday in front of the Hôtel des Invalides in Paris to protest against the tightening of health measures affecting their establishments in the capital.

"I came to show my anger, we should not be an adjustment variable", told AFP Alain Fontaine, owner of the Parisian restaurant Le Mesturet, who came with his family to show that the "survival" of the sector is underway. Thu.

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“There was time to prepare for 6 months (...). What are we going to do if we don't find a vaccine? It’s never ending, ”he added.

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The government on Thursday tightened the health measures taken to fight the coronavirus epidemic in eleven major French cities including Paris, where bars are to close at 10 p.m. from Monday.

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Restaurants which do not serve "alcohol without food" are not concerned, said the prefecture, but many demonstrators feared Sunday that these directives are just one step before a wider closure.

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"We do not understand how the population is safer crowded in the metro than in our establishments, nor how the virus at 9:59 pm is harmless, and will kill everyone at 10:01 pm", said Stéphane Manigold, the one of the spokespersons for the “Stay open” collective.

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At the head of four establishments including Maison Rostang, this restaurateur became famous thanks to his victory at the end of May against the insurer Axa, which refused to compensate operating losses linked to Covid-19: it obtained the conclusion of a financial agreement with Axa and the insurance giant has indemnified hundreds of other companies since.

“We have made big investments to ensure security in our establishments, and we are told that we are going to be closed anyway. It’s like we threw money down the drain, ”he continued.

"A lot of people will not be able to repay the State Guaranteed Loan (PGE), it must be canceled," said Mr. Manigold.

In the cities of Aix-en-Provence and Marseille, the closure of bars and restaurants will be total from midnight Sunday, according to a prefectural decree published on Sunday. Hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside Marseille's commercial court on Friday to protest the measure.

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