French Senate to consider rescue plan

October 15th, 2008 - 6:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Paris, Oct 15 (DPA) The French Senate was due Wednesday to debate and vote on the government’s 360-billion-euro ($490 billion) bank rescue plan after the bill passed the lower National Assembly by a huge margin.The bill passed its first hurdle late Tuesday when the National Assembly approved it by 224 to 23 votes, sending the plan for approval in the Senate, before being sent back to the National Assembly.

The plan, announced Monday by President Nicolas Sarkozy, will make available up to 320 billion euros to guarantee interbank loans and another 40 billion euros for the recapitalization of struggling banks.

Opposition Socialist lawmakers said they supported the plan but abstained from voting because they said it only addressed the financial crisis, not the economic crisis.

Many analysts believe that the plan will not prevent the French economy from sliding into recession, and that other costly measures designed to stimulate the economy would probably be necessary.

Communist deputies voted against the plan and had delayed the vote by proposing a series of amendments.

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