Sunday, May 19, 2013
The Associated Press
PARIS - Francois Hollande is the man in charge after his Socialist Party swept France's parliamentary election. Voters welcomed the president's vision of injecting government money into Europe's economies in hopes of helping the joint euro currency stave off disaster.
Socialists now have an unprecedented lock on politics in France, and plan to use it to raise taxes on big banks and oil companies, levy a 75 percent tax on incomes higher than $1.26 million a year, and hire 60,000 teachers. Hollande's strong domestic mandate will let him push back in global economic talks against the budget cuts being demanded by Germany, which Greece and other indebted countries say are driving them deeper into the financial abyss by suffocating growth.
France's election Sunday of 577 lawmakers for France's lower -- and more powerful -- house of parliament also gave the far right National Front a small but symbolic victory for a party that wants to stop immigration, dump the euro currency and decries the so-called "Islamization" of France. The conservative UMP party of former President Nicolas Sarkozy, which dominated the outgoing parliament, suffered the biggest losses.
With final results still coming in, pollsters estimated France's Socialists and their closest allies will hold between 313 and 315 seats, well over the 289 needed for a majority.