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EU faces economic risks if budget not agreed this year - Oettinger

EU faces economic risks if budget not agreed this year - Oettinger
FILE PHOTO: European Union Budget Commissioner Guenther Oettinger holds a news conference to present the EU executive's final proposal for the bloc's next long-term budget, in Brussels, Belgium, May 2, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir/File Photo -
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BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union risks not being able to tackle the economic challenges it faces if it does not agree on a long-term budget by the end of the year, the bloc’s top budget official Guenther Oettinger said on Monday.

“My big concern is that Europe will be in a difficult economic and geopolitical situation if there is no budget by the first of January,” Oettinger told an EU ministers’ meeting in Brussels, reminding them that Germany and other economies of the bloc are facing the risks of economic recession.

Germany is due to tell the meeting that it wants the bloc’s next budget for 2021-27 capped at 1 percent of the continent’s economy and below ceilings sought by other EU states that are preparing for a bruising fight on the matter.

(Reporting by Francesco Guarascio @fraguarascio, Editing by Gabriela Baczynska)

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