EU Budget Talks Adjourned after Stalemate
The negotiations on the 2014-2020 European Union budget were adjourned until midday on Friday, after the opening of the summit was delayed for three hours because of strong differences over the budget plans.
Jean-Claude Juncker, Prime Minister of Luxembourg, and leader of the Eurozone's finance ministers, warned earlier about tough talks over different positions.
These differences are prompting many of the participants to doubt the positive outcome of their negotiations. French President, Francois Hollande, and German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, already voiced such reservations. They say another round of negotiations might be needed.
"I think we're advancing a bit, but I doubt that we will reach a deal," Merkel said. Germany, however, notes that it would not be dramatic if the EU leaders don't finalize the budget now.
French President Francois Hollande cautioned that an agreement might not be possible, also adding that: "We should not consider that if we don't get there tomorrow or the day after, all would be lost."
Some Member States already threatened to veto agreements if they contradict their interests.
British PM, David Cameron, insists on a budget that takes into account the economic situation thus its freezing, while Austria, Italy, Latvia, Poland, and Romania want current spending, particularly for farming, maintained or raised.
Hollande has also called for subsidies for farming and development programs to be sustained for poorer nations. France has traditionally been a big beneficiary of EU farm support.
Earlier, President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy circulated a revised proposal for the new budget and said he believed that a compromise was possible.
The 90-minute session late Thursday came after a long and exhausting day of face-to-face meetings between Van Rompuy and each of the bloc's leaders.
The EU Commission, which drafts EU laws, has called for an increase of 4.8% on the 2007-2013 budget.
Failure to agree on the budget would mean rolling over the 2013 budget into 2014 on a month-by-month basis, putting some long-term projects at risk.
Meanwhile, the Bulgarian government press office informs that PM Boyko Borisov held meetings with Van Rompuy and the President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso.
Bulgaria opposes the downsizing of cohesion funds, and wants enough financing for the closure of 1-4 units of the Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant and direct payments to farmers.
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