French Lawmakers Approve Inflation Relief Package

The French Parliament approved an inflation relief package on Thursday that aims to prop up citizens’ purchasing power and help them deal with soaring consumer prices and energy costs, the New York Times reported. The package was split into two bills. The first, specifically designed to fight inflation with a raft of measures worth 20 billion euros, or about $20.4 billion, was passed by the two houses of Parliament on Wednesday. The second, a supplementary spending bill that appropriates €44 billion for new expenditures in 2022, was approved on Thursday after lawmakers from both houses agreed on a common version. “It’s a victory for the French, for our fellow citizens who have a hard time making ends meet, who are worried about rising prices,” Bruno Le Maire, France’s economic minister, told RTL radio on Thursday. “Thanks to this purchasing power package, they will be able to cope.” France, like the rest of Europe, has been affected by the fallout of the war in Ukraine, but not as severely as some of its neighbors — some of whom, like Germany, are far more reliant on Russian natural gas to run their economies. Inflation in France rose to 6.8 percent in July, less than in almost all other eurozone countries, according to Eurostat. The country, which has a strong tourism industry, also experienced 0.5 percent second-quarter growth, beating analysts’ expectations. Read more.