French senate rejects 2013 budget

French senate rejects 2013 budget, sends bill back to lower house

Associated Press

PARIS (AP) -- The French senate has rejected the 2013 budget after abstention by communists allowed the conservative opposition to scuttle the bill.

The vote late Wednesday means the bill goes back to the lower house of parliament for further debate. Conservatives, who are a minority in both chambers and are embroiled in a catastrophic leadership battle of their own, still managed to outvote ruling Socialists over a budget they say needs more spending cuts and fewer tax increases.

The 2013 budget includes an infamous pledge to tax the ultra-rich at 75 percent, and represents a major backtrack for President Francois Hollande, who won the presidency last May by campaigning against the kind of Europe-wide austerity championed by conservative predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

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