Italy will refuse "unacceptable solutions" to EU budget - Monti

BRUSSELS Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:01pm GMT

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti gestures as he speaks during the opening ceremony of the academic year at the Bocconi University in Milan November 15, 2012. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti gestures as he speaks during the opening ceremony of the academic year at the Bocconi University in Milan November 15, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Alessandro Garofalo

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti said on Thursday that Italy has been disproportionately penalised by the European Union budget up to now and it would refuse any "unacceptable solutions" that emerge from talks.

European Union leaders are facing a long and bitter tussle to agree future spending plans worth 1 trillion euros ($1.28 trillion) at the summit in Brussels.

"It is absolutely essential that Italy obtains better results than those presented in initial drafts, on the cohesion funds, agricultural funds, and on mechanisms," Monti told reporters as he arrived for the summit in Brussels.

"We will not accept solutions that we consider unacceptable," he said, adding that Italy would still be willing to work in a constructive way with EU partners if a deal was not reached at this summit.

Italy's Minister for European Affairs Enzo Moavero said on Wednesday he saw a significant chance that leaders would reach an agreement during the meeting but he has also said Italy would be ready to block an agreement if no suitable deal were reached.

(Reporting By Francesco Guarascio, writing by Catherine Hornby)

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