Brussels has dismissed as inadequate London’s latest EU budget proposal. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso suggested it did not bode well for the upcoming Council meeting, and warned that another failure would portray an enlarged Europe as incapable of taking decisions:
“In response to the overwhelming demand of almost all the member states and the European Parliament, the presidency has come back with a proposal that is simply not enough… it is simply not enough.”
On the question of old battle lines, with Paris
demanding a deeper, permanent cut in the British rebate, while London insists on fundamental reform of EU farm subsidies, Barroso said:
“I think it is not realistic now to have at this European Council a negotiation about an explicit link between the rebate and the agricultural policy.”
The French have rejected British demands that all aspects of EU spending, including agriculture, be reviewed before 2013.