BERLIN, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Germany and Poland said on Wednesday they would seek a compromise on the European Union’s new seven-year budget but that contrasting views, including their own, meant a deal would be very difficult.
“In Poland a black scenario would be the European states not reaching a compromise and we must make sure this scenario does not materialise,” Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk told a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel after bilateral talks.
The 27 EU states are struggling to reach a deal ahead of a summit on Nov. 22-23 on the roughly 1 trillion euro ($1.3 trillion) budget proposed for 2014-2020.
Germany, Britain, Sweden and other richer member states want to minimise their contributions at a time of efforts to reduce national debts across Europe, with cuts of 100-200 billion euros in farm subsidies and development funds for poorer countries.
They face stiff opposition from Poland and other states in Eastern Europe, who rely heavily on such funding for economic development, as well as from France.
“Today Germany is opting for strong cuts. Poland thinks that the cuts should be balanced and that you need to protect the cohesion policy,” said Tusk, who was due to travel on to Brussels to discuss the budget with EU officials.
“I know it is very, very difficult but as far as Germany and Poland are concerned, we are committed,” said Merkel, adding that her country, as well as being the biggest net contributor, was also a recipient of structural funds for states in the former East Germany.
“Some people might think we can live without an agreement, but that is not our goal. We want an agreement and we will speak with all countries about it,” said Merkel.
Tusk has warned Britain, which wants the deepest cuts and has threatened a veto, that if there is no deal the current budget would remain in force provisionally with 2 percent added each year for inflation.