Coronavirus 6 May 2020 Macron promises bailout for the arts Sign UpGet the New Statesman's Morning Call email. Sign-up French president Emmanuel Macron has pledged extra money for struggling actors, musicians, writers, and others in the arts and culture sectors who have missed out on work because of the pandemic. Usually, the French state pays grants to performance arts workers on short-term contracts – including dancers, actors, musicians and set designers – to cover costs between their jobs, as long as they work 507 hours a year. Macron has now waived that minimum requirement, opening up the scheme to a wider group. France has around a quarter of a million "intermittent" workers in the arts sector, who jump from gig to gig. “Many intermittents cannot make up their hours," he said today. Macron also promised a new fund for film-makers whose films have been cancelled, and a four-month exemption on social security payments for writers. Freelancers in the culture sector will be eligible for support from a separate, multi-billion euro solidarity fund, he said. › The perplexing, criss-crossing films of Corneliu Porumboiu Subscribe For more great writing from our award-winning journalists subscribe for just £1 per month!