Berlin warns crunch EU budget summit may fail

14th December 2005, Comments 0 comments

14 December 2005, BERLIN - Senior German officials on Wednesday criticized a revamped British proposal for the European Union's budget and warned a make-or-break budget summit later this week might fail.

14 December 2005

BERLIN - Senior German officials on Wednesday criticized a revamped British proposal for the European Union's budget and warned a make-or-break budget summit later this week might fail.

"This is not a sustainable recommendation," said an official speaking on the condition of anonymity, adding: "There will be tough talks at the summit."

E.U. leaders open a two-day summit in Brussels on Thursday aimed a clinching a deal on the bloc's budget for the period 2007 to 2013.

Under London's new proposal, the overall ceiling for the 2007-2013 budget will be raised to 849.3 billion euros (1 trillion dollars) from 847 billion euros previously.

However, there would be no further concessions on the controversial annual British E.U. budget rebate worth 5 billion euros.

Officials in Berlin said the E.U. urgently needed a success at Brussels but they admitted the chances of this were "balanced on a knife's edge."

"The danger of a failure continues to be possible," said an official.

Leaders of the 25-nation E.U. failed to reach a budget deal at an acrimonious summit last June following the rejection of the E.U. constitution by voters in France and the Netherlands.

DPA

Subject: German news

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