Salem Radio Network News Friday, August 19, 2022

World

Factbox-French PM promises action against spiraling prices

PARIS (Reuters) – French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne promised to shield hard-up families from soaring prices, urging the country’s fragmented parliament to work together and avoid policy gridlock.

Here are some highlights from her speech to parliament, where President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist alliance no longer holds an absolute majority.

FINDING COMPROMISE

“We may not agree on all the answers. But we are all aware of the need and urgency to act.”

“The French are asking us to talk to each other more, to talk to each other better, and to build together.”

“For too long, our political life has been made up of opposing blocs.”

COST OF LIVING

“We have to protect the French people. And we will continue to do so because many of our citizens remain at the mercy of price increases.”

Borne reaffirmed several policy proposals that will feature in a ‘spending power’ bill, saying: “We will propose to extend the cap of electricity and gas prices … increase pensions and social benefits, in particular family allowances, social housing benefits, adult disability allowances and help for workers who need a car to travel to work.”

PENSION REFORM

“Our social model is a paradox, one of the most generous and at the same time one of those where people work the shortest hours.”

“Yes, we will have to work progressively longer. Our country needs a reform of its pension system. It will not be uniform and will have to take into account long careers and hardship.”

“My government will carry it out in consultation with the social partners. It is not a done deal, it will not be a ‘take it or leave it’ matter. But it is essential.”

PUBLIC FINANCES

“They must return to a path of balance.”

“We needed to put in place the measures that we did to protect the French. But today, we must regain a clear perspective on the improvement of our public accounts.”

“Our objectives are clear: In 2026, we must start lowering debt. In 2027, we must bring the public deficit back below 3% (of GDP).”

TAXES

“No tax rises.”

“We will accelerate and continue to attract business and industry.”

“As announced by the president, we will propose lowering again taxes on production and to scrap the CVAE tax (on companies), from next year’s budget.”

“In concrete terms, we’re talking about 8 billion euros which will allow us to strengthen the competitiveness of our companies.”

ENERGY

“We must ensure our (energy) autonomy in the face of the consequences of the war (in Ukraine) and the colossal challenges ahead.

“This is why I am confirming before you today the state’s intention to hold 100% of EDF’s capital.

“The development will enable EDF to strengthen its capacity to carry out ambitious projects that are essential for our energy future as soon as possible.

“If Russia were to cut off its gas exports, we too would be affected. From now on, we must consider all concrete scenarios.”

(Editing by Richard Lough and Gareth Jones)

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