Sunday, June 17, 2012

France on a down slope: French Socialists win absolute parliament majority

PARIS (Reuters) - French President Francois Hollande's Socialists won an absolute parliamentary majority on Sunday, strengthening his hand as he presses Germany to support debt-laden euro zone states hit by austerity cuts and ailing banks.

The Socialist bloc secured between 296 and 321 seats in the parliamentary election runoff, according to reliable projections from a partial vote count, comfortably more than the 289 needed for a majority in the 577-seat National Assembly.
The left-wing triumph means Hollande, elected in May, won't need to rely on the environmentalist Greens, projected to win 20 seats, or the Communist-dominated Left Front, set for just 10 deputies, to pass laws. The centre-left already controls the upper house of parliament, the Senate.

Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said the result was a vote of confidence in Hollande's government that would enable it to forge ahead with its economic and euro zone policies.

"With this majority, the government has the support and the confidence to push ahead with our plans," he said. "Europe's future is at stake in the weeks ahead."