Merkel says EU budget talks will be tough, outcome unclear

BERLIN Sat Feb 2, 2013 7:35pm IST

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks at a ceremonial act of the BDI German industry association in Berlin January 29, 2013. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks at a ceremonial act of the BDI German industry association in Berlin January 29, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Thomas Peter

Related Topics

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged her EU partners on Saturday to work together to get a deal on the 27-member bloc's budget at a summit this week, warning that agreement was far from certain.

EU leaders meet in Brussels on Thursday and Friday to try to clinch a deal on its 1 trillion euro budget for 2014-2020 after they failed to do so in November.

In her weekly podcast, Merkel said she expected very difficult negotiations.

"Germany will try to contribute to a result. We will only be able to see at the end of next week whether it succeeds," she said.

"But it is worth trying," she said, adding that at a time when many European countries are struggling with economic growth, an EU budget deal would give certainty for financial planning.

She said the budget must be used to make sure the EU increases its competitiveness and that member states' economies become gradually more aligned.

In preparation for the summit, Merkel is holding a round of talks in the coming days. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy comes to Berlin on Monday and she is to visit French President Francois Hollande on Wednesday evening.

Merkel had struck a more positive note earlier this week at a news conference with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, saying she was very optimistic about a deal.

Monti wants a reform of the EU system of rebates, arguing that Italy's contribution to the budget is out of proportion to its real wealth. Some net contributors, such as Britain, have demanded deep reductions in EU spending plans. (Reporting by Madeline Chambers, editing by William Hardy)

FILED UNDER:
Photo

After wave of QE, onus shifts to leaders to boost economy

DAVOS, Switzerland - Central banks have done their best to rescue the world economy by printing money and politicians must now act fast to enact structural reforms and pro-investment policies to boost growth, central bankers said on Saturday.

Republic Day

Reuters Showcase

RK Laxman Dead

RK Laxman Dead

'Common Man' cartoonist RK Laxman dead at 93  Full Article 

Banking Revolution

Banking Revolution

India turns to corner shops, mobile phones for banking revolution.  Full Article 

Nuclear Group

Nuclear Group

China urges India to take steps to satisfy standards of NSG  Full Article 

Gold Market

Gold Market

Chinese gold demand holds up ahead of holiday, Indian buying weak  Full Article 

India-U.S. Relations

India-U.S. Relations

Column - U.S. and India should join to balance China's rise  Full Article 

Padma Bhushan

Padma Bhushan

India honours Bill Gates with civilian award  Full Article 

Fashionable Modi

Fashionable Modi

When Modi met Obama, his name was all over - his suit  Full Article 

New Greek PM

New Greek PM

Greek leftist Tsipras sworn in as PM to fight bailout terms  Full Article 

Australian Open

Australian Open

Venus fireworks illuminate Australia Day  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage