‘It’s a French problem!’ Britons furious as Macron begs for UK help with Eurostar bailout

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Back in November, the Eurostar revealed it was “fighting for its survival” due to travel restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic. The rail operator is currently 55 percent owned by the French state company SNCF.

Now, French Transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari has revealed he is in discussions with his British counterpart Grant Shapps.

But the British public has lashed out at the French demands, with many begging Boris Johnson not to help.

One person said: “Haven’t France just threatened trade/borders?

“Why would UK taxpayers want to bail out Eurostar?”

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Another reader said: “Leave France to its own devices, they are the main ones trying to punish Britain for leaving the EU.

“Do not try to do a deal with them.

“They cannot be trusted along with the EU.”

While someone else simply wrote: “French company, French problem.”

A fourth reader said the UK cannot help as it would be state aid which is “prohibited by the EU”.

They wrote: “Quite obviously we simply can’t do it.

“That would be State Aid and it is prohibited by the EU.

“Surely we would be in breach of international law, contrary to the treaty we signed with the EU – to protect the single market.

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“Or is it prohibited only when it suits the EU?”

Another person attacked the French and dubbed them as “hypocrites”.

They wrote: “The French are hypocrites.

“First they block the ports and give our drivers a hard time and stretching the rules to punish the UK.

“Then they have the hypocrisy to plead with the UK taxpayer to bail out their state-owned railway tell them to bog off Boris.”

Someone else added: “The French are going out of their way to create border chaos for UK companies but want us taxpayers to finance their national rail company.

“Tell then to ‘jog on’ Boris.”

France has already pumped £178million into struggling Eurostar, which has seen passenger numbers crash by 95 percent since last March.

Several reports have suggested that with lockdowns enforced throughout the continent, Eurostar could soon run out of cash.

Mr Djebbari told a parliamentary hearing in Paris: “We are working with the UK on mechanisms for aid that are proportionally pro-rata to the implications of each in Eurostar.

“The Government will back Eurostar to maintain this strategic link between our two countries.”

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