France, Germany, UK, others urge EU budget freeze

PARIS, Dec 18 (BestGrowthStock) – Britain, France, Germany, Finland
and the Netherlands called on Saturday for the EU budget to be
frozen until at least 2020, in a joint letter to the European
Commission.

The letter, addressed to European Commission President Jose
Manuel Barroso, said that the European Union’s joint budget
should not grow faster than the rate of inflation in the bloc’s
post-2013 long-term budget.

“European public spending can not be exempted from member
states’ considerable efforts to get their public spending under
control,” the letter, which was released by the French
presidency, said.

The EU’s 27 countries will start talks in mid-2011 on the
long-term budget, which runs from 2014 until 2020 or longer.

Next year’s budget is worth 126.5 billion euros, with more
than 40 percent of it going on agriculture and a third on aid to
poor regions.

The joint letter was signed by French President Nicolas
Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister
David Cameron, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Finnish Prime
Minister Mari Kiviniemi.

Cameron used an EU summit in Brussels on Friday to drum up
support for a leaner budget, telling reporters that the bloc
“needed real budgetary restraint”.

However, efforts to agree a tighter budget are likely to run
up against stiff opposition from poorer eastern European
countries that currently benefit most from EU largesse and
Poland’s Prime Minister Donald Tusk said his country would
resist cuts.

(Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Editing by John Stonestreet)

France, Germany, UK, others urge EU budget freeze