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Rajoy "Happy" with EU budget talks

Source: El Pais - Sat 24th Nov 2012
Rajoy 'Happy' with EU budget talks

EU leaders yesterday failed to reach an agreement on the budget for the bloc for the period 2014-2020, but PM Mariano Rajoy came away from the summit in Brussels saying he was "reasonably satisfied" with the way the talks went.

He said that Spain came out of the summit "with better conditions than those it went in with." Sources said that under initial proposals put forward by EU President Herman Van Rompuy, Spain stood to lose about €20 billion in the budget, which would transform the country into a net contributor to Brussels' coffers for the first time ever.

Van Rompuy shaved €80 billion off the one-trillion-euro 7-year budget presented by European Commission President José Manuel Durão Barroso after demands by Britain, Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands.

However, that was not enough to appease Germany, which called for a further reduction of €100 billion - not to mention British PM David Cameron, whose country called for cuts of €200 billion.

The reductions proposed by Van Rompuy would affect agriculture and cohesion funds, which southern and eastern European countries as well as France opposed.

"I am convinced that soon there will be a satisfactory outcome (to the talks)," said Rajoy.

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