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Talks on EU 2013 budget collapse in disarray


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Talks on EU 2013 budget collapse in disarray

Talks on the European Union’s budget for next year have collapsed in acrimony in Brussels.

Negotiators for EU governments and the European Parliament did not even discuss 2013 after rowing over extra funding for this year.

The Commission and Parliament want to increase the 2013 budget by almost 7 per cent.

Most governments want to limit the rise to under 3 per cent.

A fresh round of talks is expected ahead of a deadline for a deal set for next week.

“I would like however to give an optimistic note by telling you that I believe that we stand a good chances to reach an agreement on Tuesday evening but I mean it will depend on developments between now and then,” said the Cypriot Deputy Minister for European Affairs, Andreas Mavroyiannis.

Last week Britain and Germany’s leaders tried to bridge gaps over the EU’s future budget. The UK’s Conservative-led coalition has threatened to veto a proposed rise. Chancellor Merkel warned the UK not to issue ultimatums.

Friday’s dispute concerned this year’s funding for infrastructure, research and education projects – including the Erasmus student exchange programme.

Several governments have questioned the need for an extra 9 billion euros.

The UK’s Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Greg Clark, said “Europe must practice the same “fiscal discipline that it demands of member states”.

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