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French lower house OKs revised 2012 budget to raise ?7.2 billion in new funds
PARIS (AP) France's lower house of parliament has passed a revised 2012 government budget to raise about 7 billion ($8.6 billion) in new revenue by targeting corporations and the wealthy with new taxes.
The bill, passed early Friday by the National Assembly where President Francois Hollande's Socialists hold a wide majority, reverses many of the banner measures passed under the former conservative president, Nicolas Sarkozy.
The measures would fill state coffers and aim to reduce France's big debts with higher taxes on oil companies, banks and on estates.
Hollande has criticized austerity measures imposed around Europe, but his government said that the conservatives' "exaggeratedly optimistic forecasts" made a revision necessary.
The bill raises the wealth tax for those claiming more than 1.3 million in revenue, and taxes oil stocks.
It goes to the Senate on Tuesday.