EU president hints deal could be on table over aid
15 June 2005, LUXEMBOURG — The current president of the European Union, Jean Claude Junker, said he would support Spain's attempts to delay the end of aid funds.
15 June 2005
LUXEMBOURG — The current president of the European Union, Jean Claude Junker, said he would support Spain's attempts to delay the end of aid funds.
The Council of Europe is due to debate the EU budget for 2007-13 on Thursday.
But it is expected aid to Spain's will be cut during the budget meeting.
Junker, prime minister of Luxembourg, said though he might support Spain's bid for a slow phasing out, other countries will oppose this.
"I have done more than the others are accepted to accept, but I will give a small push towards Spain," Junker told journalists in Luxembourg.
Junker added that other countries will probably refuse Spain's requests, but he hinted they might make Madrid an offer which but he would not expand on what this might be.
Asked if cash from the EU Cohesion Funds would last more than two years – which is what Spain has asked for – Junker answered: "You have a good ideas."
Zapatero has made his support for the proposed EU budget conditional on Spain receiving EU aid for a number of years, though he has not specified how many.
With the expansion of the EU to 25 countries, Spain faces losing EU aid which has been essential to the growth of its economy since it joined the EU in 1986.
The EU wants to cut aid to Spain, which has prospered with the help of economic aid, by 2007.
But Madrid is campaigning for this cash to be extended until 2009.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news