Budget clash leaves EU summit close to failure
Negotiators will try to navigate the myriad demands on the second day of the meeting Friday. A tense first day left many observers predicting leaders will need more time to bridge their differences over the blocís spending priorities for the years to come. ďI have my doubts that we will come to an agreement,Ē German Chancellor Angela Merkel said early Friday as she left the first day of the talks, which could stretch into Saturday.
The EU budget primarily funds programmes to help farming and spur growth in the blocís less developed countries. In financial terms, it amounts to only about 1% of the EUís gross domestic product, but the real significance of the budget is that it lays bare the balance of power between the blocís members.
The bloc is divided, notably between richer countries that want to reduce their contributions to the common budget at a time of economic malaise, and poorer ones that rely on EU money for development aid and economic investment.
British prime minister David Cameron is the most vocal leader demanding restraint, while French president Francois Hollande wants the budget to keep paying subsidies for farming and development programs for poorer nations.
But the revised proposal of European Council
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