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A Rammed-Through Budget Bill Highlights France's Political Fragmentation

MIN READOct 24, 2022 | 17:45 GMT

A photo taken on Oct. 19, 2022, shows a general view of France's National Assembly during the reading of the government's 2023 budget.

A photo taken on Oct. 19, 2022, shows a general view of France's National Assembly during the reading of the government's 2023 budget.

(EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP via Getty Images)

France's political fragmentation is increasing the risk of policymaking paralysis and social discontent that, if left unresolved, could lead to an unpredictable early legislative election. On Oct. 19, the French government used special constitutional powers to approve the budget for 2023 without a vote in the National Assembly. The budget includes measures such as indexing income tax to inflation, removing corporate value-added tax (VAT) for two years, imposing windfall taxes for energy companies, and extending billions of euros in emergency aid for households dealing with rising energy prices. While Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne promised opposition lawmakers that many of their proposed amendments to the budget bill would be incorporated, the budget law mostly includes amendments suggested by government lawmakers....

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