EU heavyweights will not shift on budget: Cameron

12th November 2010, Comments 0 comments

Britain, France, Germany and Italy will not shift their position on the EU budget despite the collapse of talks because of resistance from the European Parliament, Britain's premier said Friday.

David Cameron said all four countries were "extremely staunch" on the point, even after negotiations hit a wall Thursday when Britain and other states refused to countenance a call by the EU legislature for Brussels to levy taxes.

Cameron called a meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and their finance ministers during the Group of 20 summit in Seoul Friday.

He said the four largest European economies agreed on their determination to stick with the original figure of a 2.91 percent budget increase in 2011 agreed by member states.

"If we signed that approach of limiting the budget to a 2.9 percent increase, then we are sticking to that approach and that is very, very firm indeed and they were extremely staunch when I asked them," Cameron said.

There is deep disagreement with the parliament over its demand to introduce immediate debate on tax ideas that could fundamentally change the way the bloc is controlled.

The breakdown set up a frantic few days for diplomats before legal conciliation officially runs out at midnight on Monday.

© 2010 AFP

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