French Socialists Sweep Parliamentary Elections

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Socialists swept into power in France in the final round of parliamentary elections this weekend.

The final tally in Sunday's election gave the Socialist Party and their affiliates 314 mandates, more than the 289 needed for majority control in the National Assembly.

The unprecedented win paves the way for newly elected President Francois Hollande to implement his tax-and-spend policies.

Hollande, backed by the parliament, will be free to raise taxes on big banks and oil companies. They also plan to levy a 75 percent tax on incomes over a million euros a year -- about $1.25 million.

Plans are already in place for a special parliamentary session next month to push through legislation that will raise taxes on banks, oil companies, and other large firms.

Hollande also hopes to convince Germany to back a growth stimulus package of 120 billion euros ($152 billion) for Europe.

With unemployment at 10 percent, a 13-year high, Hollande would like to keep the crises in Greece, Spain, and Italy from spreading to France, which last year posted a budget deficit of 5.2 percent of the nation's GDP.

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