French 'No' makes EU aid deal harder: Zapatero

31st May 2005, Comments 0 comments

31 May 2005, LUXEMBOURG — The Spanish prime minister Jose Rodríguez Zapatero has admitted agreeing on European Union financial aid plans will be more difficult after the French 'No' vote against the proposed Constitution.

31 May 2005

LUXEMBOURG — The Spanish prime minister Jose Rodríguez Zapatero has admitted agreeing on European Union financial aid plans will be more difficult after the French 'No' vote against the proposed Constitution.

Zapatero was speaking in Luxembourg after a meeting with the EU president, Jean Claude Juncker, over future financial aid.

He also called plans to cut EU aid to Spain by 2008 where "insufficient".

Spain has asked the EU for a slow phasing out of financial aid packages which have been crucial to its economic progress since it joined the EU in 1986.

Richer countries want to cut aid to the poorer members to 1 percent of the EU GDP.

Zapatero said Spain is only prepared to accept a "fair, reasonable and progressive" agreement.

The next EU financial meeting on 16-17 June is to decide how aid packages are carved up.

Under a plan put forward by Madrid, Spain would continue to receive European Commission cash help until 2008.

Spain would carry on receiving money from the EC Cohesion Fund, which has helped poorer nations, for three more years from now.

It will be part of a change in EU funding between 2007-13 in which poorer members of the EC, mainly from Eastern Europe, who joined last year, will start to get more money.

Spain was initially expected to receive EUR 12 billion between 2000-06, but this total may be cut by EUR 1 billion.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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