France's President Emmanuel Macron addresses a press conference at the European Social Summit in Gothenburg, Sweden, on November 17, 2017. / AFP / LUDOVIC MARIN
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PARIS:French lawmakers approved Emmanuel Macron's first annual budget with a thumping majority Tuesday, as the president fends off accusations that his spending plans favour the wealthiest.France's National Assembly backed the 2018 budget by 356 votes in favour with 175 against, and 27 abstentions. France is one of the few countries with a deficit above the EU-mandated three percent of GDP, and he sees lowering it as key to earning credibility with European leaders as he urges ambitious EU reforms.The budget includes some 15 billion euros ($17.6 billion) of spending cuts, though these, like his tax cuts, are lower than originally planned.LREM lawmakers unanimously backed the budget, while Socialist, communist and hard-left France Unbowed MPs voted against it, as did most Republican MPs.
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