French GDP dropped in Q4 2020; France's vaccination campaign under fire; Democrats continue to push impeachment.
The French central bank reported that the economy likely contracted by 4% in the final quarter of 2020, which confirms a previous estimate that the economy shrank by 9% last year.
COVID-19 cases rose by 19,753 in the last 24 hours, which has spread concerns among French officials. The government is currently pondering whether to impose a third national lockdown or to just extend the curfew that is already being enforced in some areas. So far, 2,786,838 COVID-19 cases have been reported in France, as well as 68,060 total deaths, making it the most affected country in the European Union and one of the most affected in the world.
France's vaccination campaign is being criticized because of its poor execution. So far, only 190,000 people in France have been inoculated, though the goal is to vaccinate one million people by the end of January. French bureaucrats have been blamed because of the slow rollout, and some fear that this could affect the French president's re-election aspirations.
By 8:16 GMT, the euro remained steady against the US dollar, dropping by 0.02 percent and falling to the 1.2205 level.
House Democrats Proceed With Impeachment Procedures
The US House of Representatives is set to hold a vote on Wednesday with the intent of impeaching President Donald Trump, a move that has been supported by at least 5 members of the Republican Party.
The move came after Vice President Mike Pence rejected Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's demand that he invoke the 25th Amendment. The vice president cited Pelosi's own words from a few months ago regarding the use of the 25th Amendment, in which she said that we must be “[v]ery respectful of not making a judgment on the basis of a comment or behavior that we don’t like, but based on a medical decision.” The vice president also said that such a course of action is not in the best interests of the American nation and is inconsistent with the Constitution.
If the article of impeachment is approved – which is highly likely, since the Democratic Party controls the House – Trump would face trial in the Senate. Conviction in the Senate is very unlikely, as Democrats would need 19 Republican Senators to convict the President.