The Straits Times
Published on Oct 12, 2012

France ratifies European Union fiscal pact


PARIS (AFP) - France on Thursday ratified a European Union fiscal pact that requires countries with high debt to keep their structural deficits below 0.5 per cent of gross domestic product to overcome the euro zone crisis.

A total of 306 senators voted for the pact and 32 against. The treaty was passed overwhelmingly in the National Assembly on Tuesday despite opposition from critics who saw it as enforced belt-tightening by Brussels.

Socialist President Francois Hollande's Cabinet had already backed the pact, which many on the French left had said they would oppose.

But in a major boost for Mr Hollande's credentials both at home and abroad, the vote sailed through on Tuesday with a majority of the left voting in favour, and prompting the French leader to hail a "united" stand.