11 NOV 2010
M & C
Brussels - European Union member states and the European Parliament went head-to-head Thursday over the question of how much more money should be added to the bloc's massive budget next year.
The parliament and the EU's executive, the European Commission, want the budget to be increased by 6 per cent over this year's figure of some 123 billion euros (170 billion dollars). But member states argue that is unacceptable in the midst of national budget cuts.
'We need less spending, not more spending. Europe is spending enough already,' Sweden's state secretary for budget issues, Hans Lindblad, said as he arrived at the meeting in Brussels.
At an EU summit on October 29, Britain led a bloc of 13 member states that called for the budget increase to be capped at 2.91 per cent. Britain had earlier demanded a complete spending freeze, but softened its demands to bring France and Germany on board.
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