Reuters

Battle lines sharpen in fight over seven-year EU budget

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Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (L) talks with Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel during a European Union leaders summit discussing the EU's long-term budget in Brussels November 22, 2012. European Union negotiators believe they are close to securing British and German backing for a deal on nearly a trillion euros of spending over the next seven years, but last minute concessions may be needed to secure French and Polish...

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French President Francois Hollande (L) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel leave after a bilateral meeting at the EU council headquarters, ahead of a European Union leaders summit discussing the European Union's long-term budget, in Brussels November 22, 2012. European Union negotiators believe they are close to securing British and German backing for a deal on nearly a trillion euros of spending over the next seven years, but last...

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French President Francois Hollande (L) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (R) attend a bilateral meeting at the EU council headquarters ahead of a European Union leaders summit discussing the European Union's long-term budget in Brussels November 22, 2012. European Union negotiators believe they are close to securing British and German backing for a deal on nearly a trillion euros of spending over the next seven years, but last...

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Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy arrives at the EU council headquarters for an European Union leaders summit discussing the European Union's long-term budget in Brussels November 22, 2012. European Union negotiators believe they are close to securing British and German backing for a deal on nearly a trillion euros of spending over the next seven years, but last minute concessions may be needed to secure French and Polish...

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Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (C) arrives at the EU council headquarters for an European Union leaders summit discussing the European Union's long-term budget in Brussels November 22, 2012. European Union negotiators believe they are close to securing British and German backing for a deal on nearly a trillion euros of spending over the next seven years, but last minute concessions may be needed to secure French and Polish...

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Greece's Prime Minister Antonis Samaras arrives at the EU council headquarters for an European Union leaders summit discussing the European Union's long-term budget in Brussels November 22, 2012. EU negotiators believe they are close to securing British and German backing for a deal on nearly a trillion euros of spending over the next seven years, but last minute concessions may be needed to secure French and Polish support....

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Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives at the EU council headquarters for an European Union leaders summit discussing the European Union's long-term budget in Brussels November 22, 2012. European Union negotiators believe they are close to securing British and German backing for a deal on nearly a trillion euros of spending over the next seven years, but last minute concessions may be needed to secure French and Polish support....

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France's President Francois Hollande arrives at the EU council headquarters for an European Union leaders summit discussing the European Union's long-term budget in Brussels November 22, 2012. European Union negotiators believe they are close to securing British and German backing for a deal on nearly a trillion euros of spending over the next seven years, but last minute concessions may be needed to secure French and Polish...

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Luxembourg's Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker arrives at the EU council headquarters for an European Union leaders summit discussing the European Union's long-term budget in Brussels November 22, 2012. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

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Croatia's Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic arrives at the EU council headquarters for an European Union leaders summit discussing the European Union's long-term budget in Brussels November 22, 2012. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

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Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk talks to reporters at the EU council headquarters ahead of an European Union leaders summit discussing the European Union's long-term budget in Brussels November 22, 2012. European Union negotiators believe they are close to securing British and German backing for a deal on nearly a trillion euros of spending over the next seven years, but last minute concessions may be needed to secure French...

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Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico arrives at the EU council headquarters for an European Union leaders summit discussing the European Union's long-term budget in Brussels November 22, 2012. European Union negotiators believe they are close to securing British and German backing for a deal on nearly a trillion euros of spending over the next seven years, but last minute concessions may be needed to secure French and Polish...

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Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann talks to the media as he arrives at the EU council headquarters for an European Union leaders summit discussing the European Union's long-term budget in Brussels November 22, 2012. EU negotiators believe they are close to securing British and German backing for a deal on nearly a trillion euros of spending over the next seven years, but last minute concessions may be needed to secure French and...

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European Council President Herman Van Rompuy arrives at an European Union leaders summit discussing the European Union's long-term budget in Brussels November 22, 2012. European Union negotiators believe they are close to securing British and German backing for a deal on nearly a trillion euros of spending over the next seven years, but last minute concessions may be needed to secure French and Polish support. REUTERS/Yves Herman

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Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (L) talks with Luxembourg's Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker during an European Union leaders summit discussing the European Union's long-term budget in Brussels November 22, 2012. European Union negotiators believe they are close to securing British and German backing for a deal on nearly a trillion euros of spending over the next seven years, but last minute concessions may be needed to...

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Croatia's Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic arrives at the EU council headquarters for a European Union leaders summit discussing the bloc's long-term budget in Brussels November 22, 2012. EU heads of state and governements will need to agree a first-ever cut in the bloc's long-term spending plans if they are to clinch a deal at a summit starting on Thursday, with the drive for austerity likely to trump all other concerns....

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French President Francois Hollande (L) and Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti leave after a bilateral meeting at the EU council headquarters, ahead of a European Union leaders summit discussing the European Union's long-term budget, in Brussels November 22, 2012. European Union negotiators believe they are close to securing British and German backing for a deal on nearly a trillion euros of spending over the next seven years, but...

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