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Brussels collides with cash-strapped states
Date 13/10/2010 13:46  Author webmaster  Hits 1059  Language Global
13 OCT 2010

By Joshua Chaffin in Brussels | Financial Times

Brussels’ expanding ambition is colliding with European Union member states’ austerity drive as the parties struggle to reach agreement over the 2011 budget.

The gulf between them will be revealed next week when the European parliament is expected to approve a proposal to increase the EU budget by 5.9 per cent next year to €142.6bn ($198bn).

That is double the 2.9 per cent increase offered by the member states in July – and massively above the spending freeze pushed for by a group of states, including the UK and the Netherlands, where governments are under pressure to slash billions of euros from their budgets.

Deepening the division, MEPs are also mulling an amendment that would open the way to establish a European tax, making the institutions less reliant on contributions from national governments.

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See also:
Dogfight over EU budget could end in crisis, MEP says (EUobserver)