Macron’s new gov’t comfortably wins assembly confidence vote

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PARIS, July 15 (Xinhua) — The new cabinet of French President Emmanuel Macron, headed by Prime Minister Jean Castex who presented the general policies over the coming two years to the National Assembly on Wednesday, has won with a large majority the confidence vote of the lower house of the parliament.

The government’s program received massive support (345 approval and 177 against) at the lower house.

“We have 600 days to protect the French, their jobs and their purchasing power in the face of the crisis, 600 days to reinvent our ways of doing things and put ecology at the heart of our action and our territories, 600 days to consolidate the authority of the state and preserve our social pact…” Castex told lawmakers.

Pledging to “slash taxes that hold back companies’ productive capacities,” the prime minister announced 100-billion-euro (114 billion U.S. dollars) financial aid to help economy recover. France has already pumped 460 billion euros into domestic businesses hard hit by the coronavirus epidemic

In details, 40 billion euros aim to support notably strategic manufacturing activities, 38 billion euros to preserve jobs, in addition to more than 20 billion euros investment to boost clean industries and encourage green technologies.

“It is up to us to reconcile the environmental transition with purchasing power,” Castex said, stressing that “fighting unemployment will be our absolute priority over the next 18 months” and “with a major focus on youth.”

Looking to unite the French, Castex pledged to restore trust of those who feel left behind via “dialogue listening and seeking compromise.”

He said he would meet all business and trade union leaders on Friday to discuss “a method and a timetable” for future reforms including the controversial pension overhaul. (1 euro = 1.14 U.S. dollar) Enditem

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