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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EU Council President: Leaders must be 'sensible and realistic'

European President Herman Van Rompuy, who is chairing the 27-nation meeting in Brussels.
European President Herman Van Rompuy, who is chairing the 27-nation meeting in Brussels. Credit: APTN

The President of the European Council called on leaders meetings in Brussels today to be "sensible and realistic." Herman Van Rompuy, tasked with chairing the 27-nation meeting to agree the next EU budget said:

"Doing more with less money involves political choices. This is painful even when cuts are evenly spread. So we must be sensible and realistic."

"But we must not forget this budget is a budget for the rest of the decade. So it must be future-oriented. My proposal focuses on jobs and growth in all regions, and in different economic sectors."

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Hollande doubtful on securing budget deal today

Hollande EU budget
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."

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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.

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