Cameron: EU 'false choice'

David Cameron has insisted it is in the UK's national interest to be part of the European Union.Speaking at the European Summit in Brussels, he said there was a "false choice" between going along with all of the reforms of the Union and leaving it.

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Cameron: UK is prepared to veto EU Budget

The Prime Minister said today that the UK is prepared to veto any deal on the EU Budget next month if it is deemed unacceptable and against national interests. He told a news conference in Brussels:

I think it would be good to have a deal, it's good to settle these issues, but it just would not be acceptable to see some huge increase in EU spending at a time when other budgets are being cut.

– Prime Minister David Cameron

Cameron: It is in the national interest to be part of EU

The Prime Minister said today that it is in the national interest to be part of the European Union but that this doesn't mean it cannot opt out of certain measures.

Speaking at the European Summit in Brussels, he said there was a "false choice" between going along with all of the reforms of the Union and leaving it.

Asked whether there is a growing impression that Britain is not interested in the EU, David Cameron said he has a reputation for plain speaking but is not anti-EU.

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Rompuy: ECB could be effective in 2013

European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said the 27 leaders agreed at a Brussels summit to adopt a legal framework by the end of the year giving the European Central Bank overall responsibility for banking supervision.

After almost 10 hours of talks, he told a news conference:

Once this is agreed, the single supervisory mechanism could probably be effectively operational in the course of 2013.

Athens protest estimated at 70,000 people

Around 70,000 protesters took to the streets in Athens today, according to authorities, as two separate demonstrations were staged in the city while EU leaders discussed the plight of Greece in Brussels.

Four demonstrators and three policemen were injured in clashes, but none of the injuries are believed to be serious.

Police said seven people, out of more than 100 detained, had been arrested.

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Police and demonstrators clash in Athens

Riot police have clashed with protesters in Athens during an anti-austerity protest in Syntagma square.

Police are reported to have used teargas to disperse crowds who were said to be hurling stones and petrol bombs.

The disturbance comes as EU leaders meet in Brussels in a bid to tackle the eurozone crisis.

Riot police officer confronts protester during an anti-austerity rally. Credit: Reuters
Riot police officer take position during the protest. Credit: Reuters

Greek workers' strike aims to send message to EU summit

Flames from a molotov cocktail flare up near riot police near a protest march by Greece's Communist party in central Athens. Credit: Reuters

Greek workers walked off the job for the second time in three weeks today, aiming to show EU leaders meeting in Brussels that a new wave of wage and pension cuts will only worsen their plight after five years of recession.

Greece's Communist party march in central Anthens during a 24-hour labour strike. Credit: Reuters

More than 20,000 protesters gathered in central Athens as most business and public sector activity ground to a halt at the start of the 24-hour strike called by the country's two biggest labour unions.

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