- Title: BELGIUM: EU leaders arrive for final stage of budget talks
- Date: 8th February 2013
- Summary: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM (FEBRUARY 8, 2013) (REUTERS) CAMERON ENTERING EUROPEAN COUNCIL BUILDING
- Embargoed: 23rd February 2013 12:00
- Location: Belgium
- Country: Belgium
- Topics: International Relations,European Union
- Reuters ID: LVA5PZ8LBXUES1XWS5HUDKG0RJ06
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: European leaders made their way back to the European Council building to finalise the long-term budget after initial agreements on Friday (February 8).
After a three-hour break following through-the-night negotiations, leaders reappeared for the final stage of talks to hammer out a deal on the 2014-2020 budget for the bloc.
The framework of the agreement strikes a tight balance between the demands of northern European countries that wanted a belt-tightening budget, and countries in the south that wanted spending on farming subsidies and much-needed infrastructure.
Officials said around 12 billion euros would be cut from the last budget proposal, made at a summit in November when agreement eluded leaders, bringing the headline ceiling for spending down to 960 billion over the full 2014-2020 plan.
Even after the final stage of the summit on Friday, the battle may continue. The deal must also be approved by the European Parliament, an obstacle that could prove difficult. The European Parliament president Martin Schulz has said he will not accept excessive cuts.
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