EU budget agreement "not there yet" - Hollande
PARIS (Reuters) - President Francois Hollande said on Sunday France was keen to agree the European Union's 2014-2020 budget at a summit in Brussels next week, but there was still much work to be done.
The 27-nation bloc failed to agree on its 1 trillion euro budget at a meeting in November.
"We will do everything to find an agreement at the next summit, but conditions are not there yet," Hollande told reporters, flanked by Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti.
Hollande said there was still time to reach a deal before the summit starts on Thursday.
Monti said he hoped a deal could be found on the basis of a package that European governments discussed late last year.
"I hope that the system that will follow will be fairer," Monti said.
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.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has urged her EU partners on to work together to get a deal.
Hollande also voiced concern about recent strengthening of the euro against the currencies of major trading partners.
"The markets have welcomed with magnitude, with excess, via the level of the euro, the confidence they place in the countries that make up the (euro) zone," he said.
The euro last week reached its highest level in 14 months against the dollar and in 33 months against the yen.
A strengthening euro would weigh on exports from euro-zone countries, as well as reducing the cost of imports.
(Reporting by Elizabeth Pineau; Writing by Elena Berton; Editing by Robin Pomeroy and Jason Webb)
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this
- Iran hangs woman convicted of killing alleged rapist
- Google's Pichai to oversee major products and services
- UPDATE 1-UK's Labour suffers setback as leader in Scotland quits
- India picks Israel's Spike anti-tank missile over U.S. Javelin - source
- Modi takes tea, but no questions, in first press event as PM
The latest Reuters poll of 20 economists taken over the past week shows Asia's third-largest economy will likely grow 5.5 percent this fiscal year and 6.4 percent the next, slightly better than 5.3 percent and 6.3 percent expected in the July poll. Full Article
Euro zone risks "relapse into recession" without structural reforms - Draghi. Full Article
Kalki Koechlin on her role as a disabled girl in “Margarita, With a Straw” Full Article