EU must meet deadline for new budget: French PM

17th October 2005, Comments 0 comments

BARCELONA, Spain, Oct 17 (AFP) - French prime minister Dominique de Villepin said on Monday that an EU budget framework for 2007-2013 had to be set by the end of this year.

BARCELONA, Spain, Oct 17 (AFP) - French prime minister Dominique de Villepin said on Monday that an EU budget framework for 2007-2013 had to be set by the end of this year.

"Without a budget Europe will not move forward. An accord by year's end is indispensable," de Villepin said as he held bilateral talks with his host, Spanish prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, in Barcelona.

"The best basis for getting there remains the Juncker package," de Villepin said, referring to a package of proposals by the former Luxembourg EU presidency before Britain took over the six-month rotation in July.

However, Finland, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom rejected the proposals on June 17.

A diplomatic source in Luxembourg said that the British presidency would seek a "credible engagement for an agreement in December".

Britain insists that any redction in its controversial multi-billion euro annual rebate be linked to a reduction of agricultural subsidies, which France has rejected.

British prime minister Tony Blair is hoping the budget issue does not bog down progress at informal summit talks slated for October 27 on globalisation.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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