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Parliamentary victory gives Hollande room for reforms

world Updated: Jun 18, 2012 23:44 IST
Reuters
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A resounding Socialist victory in weekend parliamentary elections will allow President Francois Hollande to press ahead with reforms to tame France’s deficit and promote economic growth in Europe, a senior minister said on Monday.


The Socialists, who won a comfortable majority in Sunday’s parliamentary elections, will use a special session of parliament next month to axe tax breaks and increase taxes for large corporations, particularly banks and energy companies.

The measures are part of Hollande’s twin track drive to balance France’s budget by 2017 and persuade Europe’s paymaster Germany to back his call for a stimulus package of more than $100 billion to boost growth.

Election results showed the Socialists and their affiliates won 307 seats, comfortably exceeding the 289 required for a majority in the National Assembly. Definitive figures were due later on Monday, with polls predicting the Socialists could win up to 320 seats.

With the left already controlling the Senate upper house of parliament, that would free the Socialists from relying on the votes of the anti-austerity, eurosceptic Left Front or the conservative UMP opposition.

Interior minister Manuel Valls said the government would waste no time in pressing ahead with reforms. “We need to sort out this country’s finances, to ensure we achieve a balanced budget by 2017, and at the same time pursue our priorities in terms of growth, employment, education and security,” he said.

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