EU budget talks collapse in acrimony
The first round in two weeks of tough talks on the European Union budget collapsed Friday after austerity-minded states refused to plug a 2012 budget shortfall in funds destined for Europe’s needy.
Friday’s talks had been scheduled to approve a budget for 2013 but instead snagged straight off on an 8.9-billion-euro ($11.3-billion) hole in this year’s spending, according to figures provided by the European Commission.
Approval for the massive EU budget must be agreed between the 27 member states and the European Parliament, but MEP Alain Lamassoure, who heads the assembly’s budget committee, said: “The council (of ministers) were unable to negotiate so the negotiations were suspended.
The collapse of the 2013 budget talks, which will resume Tuesday, augurs badly for a November 22-23 summit called to settle the bloc’s even more hotly disputed 2014-2020 spending plans.