Merkel says EU budget talks will be tough, outcome unclear

BERLIN Sat Feb 2, 2013 12:03pm GMT

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks at a ceremonial act of the BDI German industry association in Berlin January 29, 2013. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks at a ceremonial act of the BDI German industry association in Berlin January 29, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Thomas Peter

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BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged her EU partners on Saturday to work together to get a deal on the 27-member bloc's budget at a summit this week, warning that agreement was far from certain.

EU leaders meet in Brussels on Thursday and Friday to try to clinch a deal on its 1 trillion euro budget for 2014-2020 after they failed to do so in November.

In her weekly podcast, Merkel said she expected very difficult negotiations.

"Germany will try to contribute to a result. We will only be able to see at the end of next week whether it succeeds," she said.

"But it is worth trying," she said, adding that at a time when many European countries are struggling with economic growth, an EU budget deal would give certainty for financial planning.

She said the budget must be used to make sure the EU increases its competitiveness and that member states' economies become gradually more aligned.

In preparation for the summit, Merkel is holding a round of talks in the coming days. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy comes to Berlin on Monday and she is to visit French President Francois Hollande on Wednesday evening.

Merkel had struck a more positive note earlier this week at a news conference with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, saying she was very optimistic about a deal.

Monti wants a reform of the EU system of rebates, arguing that Italy's contribution to the budget is out of proportion to its real wealth. Some net contributors, such as Britain, have demanded deep reductions in EU spending plans.

(Reporting by Madeline Chambers, editing by William Hardy)

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Comments (1)
2writestoo wrote:
“FOLKETINGET” reports that the European commission’s figure apropos net contributions to the EU budget (2010) show that out of 27 counties 16 made no contribution to the budget in fact they actually (gratis) took money from the pot. Of the remaining 11 Germany made a net contribution of 9, 223 billion Euros, France third in the list of net contributors paid in, 5,534 billion Euros, Italy is reported to have contribute 4,534 billion Euros whilst the UK who came second in the list of net contributors provided 5.625 billion Euros. THIS SUM EXCEEDED THE COMBINED CONTRIBUTIONS OF 23 COUNTRIES OF THE 27 THAT MAKE UP THE EU, all of whom have a vote to increase the EU budget and ensure that the MP.s will probably receive a handsome back hander in the guise of a EU parliamentary pay rise. The UK says no more should be doled out to this idiotic assembly and wants cuts. The result the EU commissioners are attempting to bar the UK from voting or vetoing the increases for MEP’s trough gobbling practises and doling out more money to the majority of countries in the EU. The MAFIA would be proud of the way the EU commissioners have rigged the voting system and the manner they are conducting the business in their fascist assembly.

Feb 03, 2013 10:27am GMT  --  Report as abuse
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