Schroeder turns up pressureon Britain over EU rebate

8th June 2005, Comments 0 comments

8 June 2005, BERLIN - German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder on Wednesday turned up pressure on Britain to surrender its multi-billion euro rebate from the European Union in the run-up to what is expected to be a showdown summit next week in Brussels.

8 June 2005

BERLIN - German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder on Wednesday turned up pressure on Britain to surrender its multi-billion euro rebate from the European Union in the run-up to what is expected to be a showdown summit next week in Brussels.

"All countries must be willing to move without any exceptions," said Schroeder at a news conference with Macedonian prime minister Vlado Buckovski.

European Union (EU) leaders are under pressure to agree the 25-nation bloc's budget for 2007 to 2013 at their 16-17 June summit in order to send out a positive signal after rejection of the EU constitution by voters in France and the Netherlands.

In a clear reference to London, Schroeder said it would be "awkward" if any one country blocked an agreement.

Britain is struggling to keep its annual GBP 3 billion (EUR 4.5 billion) rebate from the EU which was agreed in 1984 under British prime minister Margaret Thatcher.

Last week a senior German official - speaking off the record - demanded an end to the rebate.

DPA

Subject: German news

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