Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

A landslide victory for the 'invisible candidate' in Algeria's Presidential polls

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014 (part 2)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Presidential adviser resigns over "shoe-shine scandal"

Read more

#THE 51%

Breaking stereotypes

Read more

#TECH 24

Galaxy S5 v. HTC One (M8): Which is the right one for you?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

New PM Manuel Valls outlines priorities

Read more

FASHION

Jean-Marc Loubier, bags and shoes.

Read more

ENCORE!

Hip-hop musician Beat Assailant on mixing the sounds of the city

Read more

  • Bouteflika, the ghost president

    Read more

  • Algeria's ailing Bouteflika clinches fourth term amid fraud claims

    Read more

  • Police arrest S. Korea ferry captain for negligence

    Read more

  • Ukraine separatists say ‘not bound’ by Geneva deal

    Read more

  • Does Valls’ upcoming Vatican trip violate French secularism?

    Read more

  • Obama signs bill to block controversial Iran diplomat from UN post

    Read more

  • Abel Ferrara’s hotly awaited DSK film to premiere on web

    Read more

  • World honours Garcia Marquez’s magical literary legacy

    Read more

  • Ukraine: ‘One bloody incident could scupper Geneva deal’

    Read more

  • Top Hollande adviser resigns over conflict of interest accusation

    Read more

  • Indian election: Votes for sale

    Read more

  • West African Ebola outbreak caused by new strain of virus

    Read more

  • Astronomers discover Earth-like planet that could support life

    Read more

  • Video: Tensions remain high in Mariupol despite Geneva deal

    Read more

  • In Prijedor, survivors fight to keep memory alive

    Read more

  • Deadly avalanche strikes Everest in worst-ever disaster

    Read more

  • With a strong French presence, veterans and fresh faces, Cannes aims to please

    Read more

  • Russia and West agree on steps to ease Ukraine crisis

    Read more

  • Mob launches deadly attack on UN shelter for S. Sudan civilians

    Read more

  • Eurostar train mishap causes 'severe' delays

    Read more

  • Chelsea Clinton announces she's pregnant

    Read more

  • French troops free five aid workers kidnapped in Mali by Islamists

    Read more

  • In pictures: Iranian woman pardons son’s killer at the gallows

    Read more

  • After cup defeat, Spanish pundits read last rites for Barcelona

    Read more

  • India heads to polls in single largest day of voting

    Read more

France

Socialists free to push through reform agenda

©

Video by Mark Thompson

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-06-18

The resounding Socialist Party victory in Sunday's parliamentary elections will allow new French President François Hollande to follow through with promised economic reforms to stimulate growth across Europe, a senior minister said Monday.

REUTERS - 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 for mainland France showed the Socialists and their affiliates won 307 seats, comfortably exceeding the 289 required for a majority in the National Assembly. Definitive figures including overseas territories 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 promised 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,” said Valls, promising tax reforms to ensure that the richest French pay their share.

Valls said that a resurgence in the vote for the National Front - which won two parliamentary seats and returns to parliament for the first time since the mid-1980s - was due to widespread disenchantment with France’s economic situation.

“We need to mobilise our European partners because piling more austerity on top of austerity will lead to tragedy and a deep rift between the peoples of Europe and their politicians.”

With unemployment at a 13-year high of 10 percent and economic growth stagnating, Hollande faces a delicate balancing act in reducing the government’s deficit and keeping the euro zone’s second largest economy out of the sights of financial market speculators attacking Spain and Italy.

The government may use a review of government finances by the state auditor, due by the end of June, to temper its campaign spending promises.

Hollande was to address a summit of G20 leaders in Mexico on Monday. He travels to Rome on Friday for four-way talks with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy ahead of an EU leaders summit at the end of June which is due to discuss closer economic integration in the bloc.

Socialists welcome Greek result

Government spokeswoman Najat Vallaud-Belkacem told France Inter radio that Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault could name a permanent cabinet as early as Thursday, replacing the interim government named after Hollande won May’s presidential election.

With all the major cabinet members, including Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici, having won their legislative seats, no major changes were expected.

Vallaud-Belkacem welcomed the victory of the conservative, pro-bailout New Democracy party in Sunday’s parliamentary elections in Greece. The result, relegating the far-left SYRIZA party to second place, sent European stocks and the euro currency higher on Monday.

“It is true that we are pleased that they have chosen the euro,” she said. “We are ready to help them with this. President Hollande has fought to put growth back on the European agenda precisely to send a positive signal to the Greeks.”

Following the defeat of the Socialists’ former presidential candidate Segolene Royal - Hollande’s ex-partner of 25 years - in the western city of La Rochelle, Vallaud-Belkacem paid tribute to the role she had played in the Socialist’s national victory.

“We need her and she can still play a role. It’s up to her to decide,” she said.

 

Date created : 2012-06-18

  • FRENCH ELECTIONS 2012

    France's parliamentary runoff as it happened

    Read more

  • FRENCH ELECTIONS 2012

    Royal concedes bitter defeat in La Rochelle

    Read more

  • FRENCH ELECTIONS 2012

    Le Pen’s niece leads National Front’s return to French parliament

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)