PARIS: France’s divided parliament on Friday passed its first major piece of legislation since elections last month, greenlighting a 20-billion-euro ($20-billion) package to help low-income families struggling with inflation.
The vote in the early hours of the morning provided a boost for the centrist government of President Emmanuel Macron, which is 39 seats short of a majority and was desperate to show it could build consensus.
The so-called “emergency purchasing power bill” passed with 341 MPs in favour, 116 against and 21 abstentions in a vote that took place shortly before 6:00 am (0400 GMT).
“Building majorities for projects to provide real solutions to the French people: we succeeded,” Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne wrote on Twitter.
The legislation includes a range of measures designed to help consumers, such as extending fuel tax cuts, raising pensions and benefits, and capping rent increases.
It also gives the government powers to tackle a looming energy crisis caused by the fallout of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
One of the most controversial measures authorises the state to re-open a coal-fired power station in eastern France in the event of power shortages this winter.