France's Hollande sees budget deal unlikely on Friday

BRUSSELS Fri Nov 23, 2012 6:36am IST

France's President Francois Hollande leaves the European Union leaders summit discussing the European Union's long-term budget in Brussels November 23, 2012. REUTERS/Eric Vidal

France's President Francois Hollande leaves the European Union leaders summit discussing the European Union's long-term budget in Brussels November 23, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Eric Vidal

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - French President Francois Hollande said it looked unlikely that European Union negotiators would reach an agreement on Friday on the bloc's nearly 1 trillion euro budget for the next seven years, although he said a delayed deal would not be serious.

"Everyone agrees this is going to take time," Hollande told reporters. Asked whether EU leaders could fail to resolve their differences on Friday he said: "That's the most likely outcome."

The EU is expected to convene a further summit if leaders continue to disagree over spending levels at the end of the two-day meeting. The meeting was suspended shortly after midnight on Thursday so that EU leaders can examine a revised budget plan.

The summit will reconvene at midday on Friday.

(Reporting by Emmanuel Jarry; Writing by Catherine Bremer)

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