French lawmakers approve €20 billion anti-inflation package | News | DW
Emmanuel Macron’s centrist alliance managed to push through a 20 billion euro ($20.3 billion) package to tackle France’s cost of living crisis, conservative Republicans and the National Rally of extreme right also supporting the initiative in the National Assembly for the final vote. Wednesday.
The measures aim to counter inflation, driven by rising food and energy prices. Annual inflation is estimated at 6.5% in France.
The response increases pensions and some social programs by 4%, as well as civil servant salaries by 3.5%. The state will also cap rent increases at 3.5%. Under the new law, a state-funded rebate of 18 cents per liter of fuel will be increased to 30 cents in September and October. Existing price caps for gas and electricity will be extended.
The package also allows private companies to offer tax-free annual bonuses of up to €6,000. The previous limit was €1,000. In addition, it provides for the possibility of requisitioning power plants in an emergency, as well as the installation of a floating terminal in the port city of Le Havre for liquefied natural gas.
Lawmakers in the French Senate, the upper house of parliament, also approved the measures on Wednesday.
Leftists against the bill
The initiative, which required weeks of debate and multiple parliamentary votes, was seen as a crucial test for Emmanuel Macron and his allies after losing an absolute majority in June’s legislative elections. On Wednesday, Macron’s centrist Renaissance (formerly La République En Marche!) won the support of 395 lawmakers, with 112 votes against.
“This text responds to the urgency of the situation and to the needs of the people,” said Christine Le Nabour, deputy of Macron’s Renaissance party.
But the package was criticized by the left-wing coalition NUPES, the assembly’s biggest opposition force.
“You have accepted amendments that make the poor work more to earn less and less,” said Sandrine Rousseau, Green MP and member of the NUPES bloc.
dj/aw (AP, Reuters)