Socialists take French Parliament, sweep power

June 18, 2012 • Business

Supporters of France’s National Front Party react after the second round of the French legislative elections, Sunday, June 17, 2012 in Henin-Beaumont, northern France where far-right leader Marine Le Pen has lost her race for a parliamentary seat, but her anti-immigrant National Front party will have its first seats in parliament in years. French Legislative elections determine the makeup of the new parliament. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)

PARIS (AP) — Francois Hollande is the man in charge after his Socialist Party swept France’s parliamentary election. Voters welcomed the French 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 million ($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 also gave the far right National Front a toehold in parliament, 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.

The balloting to elect 577 lawmakers for France’s lower — and more powerful — house of parliament came on the same day that conservatives Login to read more

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