French Senate May Reject Hollande’s Budget Law, Minister Says

The French Senate may reject President Francois Hollande’s 2013 budget law, which will be voted this month, according to Alain Vidalies, the Socialist Party minister in charge of Parliamentary Affairs.

“We don’t have a majority in the senate,” the minister told reporters in Paris today after the weekly cabinet meeting. “We must seek a majority each time we vote and we will have to build that majority for the budget law.”

While the president’s Socialist Party has an absolute majority in the National Assembly, the lower chamber of parliament, it doesn’t have one in the Senate. The budget law was successfully voted in the National Assembly on Oct. 23. A final vote is expected in December.

Socialists have 127 of the Senate’s 347 seats. Former President Nicolas Sarkozy’s Union for a Majority party (UMP) holds 131 seats.

Together with the Greens, Communists and Left Union parties, Hollande’s government has 159 seats while the opposition with its affiliates has 163. The 25 remaining senators are from minority groups who may or may not support the government. None of the parties affiliated with the Socialists has indicated how they might vote.

A proposed energy-savings law that would modify the way power and gas rates are calculated was rejected yesterday with the opposition UMP and the Communist Party lawmakers voting down the government-backed bill.

To contact the reporters on this story: Helene Fouquet in Paris at hfouquet1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net

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