PM defends EU budget position

David Cameron has defended the collapse of talks aimed at agreeing the EU budget, saying: "We are not going to be tough on budgets at home and sign up to big increases in European spending in Brussels."

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Hollande doubtful on securing budget deal today

French President Francois Hollande. Credit: REUTERS/Lionel Bonaventure

French President Francois Hollande said it was unlikely that European Union negotiators would reach an agreement today on the budget for the next seven years but added a delayed deal would not be serious.

He told reporters: "Everyone agrees this is going to take time."

Asked whether EU leaders could fail to resolve their differences on Friday he said: "That's the most likely outcome."

Merkel has 'doubts' on EU budget agreement

German Chancellor Angela Merkel doubted whether an agreement on the European Union's seven-year budget could be reached this week and that a further round of negotiations would likely be required at a later date.

I believe that the positions are quite far apart, in certain respects.

I believe that we will move forward a little tomorrow but I have my doubts that we will achieve a result. There is a high likelihood of a second stage.


EU's Van Rompuy adjourns budget summit

European Council President Herman Van Rompuy adjourned a summit of EU leaders to discuss a new seven-year budget early on Friday to allow time for members to study a revised set of proposals.

Officials said EU leaders would gather again at 11am GMT on Friday to open round-the-table negotiations over the long-term budget, a framework of around 1 trillion euros in spending for the years 2014-2020.

EU needs 'ambitious budget' says Belgian Prime Minister

Belgian Prime Minister Elio Del Rupo has said he will "plead" with David Cameron for an ambitious EU Budget.

Speaking ahead of negotiations in Brussels, he said:

It's a shame that for the British, Europe is primarily a single market. For me, for Belgium, Europe is more solidarity and prosperity for all Europeans, so I will plead with somebody such as David Cameron for more an ambitious budget.

Is this possible or not, we will see, but I hope that other countries such as Italy and France will support us for the ambitious budget.

I'm afraid that it will be another marathon.

– Belgian Prime Minister Elio Del Rupo
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