French lower house approves 2012 budget
The lower house of the French parliament approved on Wednesday a tight 2012 budget as Paris aims to eliminate its deficit within five years amid a worsening of the eurozone debt crisis.
The budget was approved by a vote of 315 to 198 in the National Assembly and now moves to the upper-house Senate where President Nicolas Sarkozy's conservative UMP party no longer holds a majority.
Concerned about keeping its top triple-A credit rating, the French government last week announced 65 billion euros in savings by 2016.
France aims to reduce its budget deficit from 5.7 percent of Gross Domestic Product this year to 4.5 percent in 2012. It is hoping to reach the European Union limit of 3.0 percent in 2013 and bring the budget back into balance by 2016.
© 2011 AFP