• Germany's news in English
 

Merkel joins Cameron to push EU to trim budget

The Local · 8 Feb 2013, 19:17

Published: 08 Feb 2013 16:39 GMT+01:00
Updated: 08 Feb 2013 19:17 GMT+01:00

"Deal done! Worth waiting for," European Council President Herman Van Rompuy wrote on the online message service Twitter.

Negotiating for nearly 26 hours with little break, Merkel, backed by British Prime Minister David Cameron, led a sustained push for the EU budget for 2014-2020 to share in the austerity national governments are facing. The tentative agreement would trim spending by three percent over the rest of the decade.

"In my opinion this is a good deal and it is important," said Merkel. "The effort was rewarded."

France, along with Italy, fought to protect spending it sees as essential to boost growth and jobs at a time of record unemployment, but indications early Friday were that Paris could live with the deal.

"It is not a fantastic compromise deal but it is acceptable," said a French diplomatic source.

A draft deal sets the 2014-20 actual spending or "payments" at €908.4 billion ($1.2 trillion), with an absolute ceiling of €960 billion for spending "commitments" to the budget.

The latest figures would represent a 3.0 percent cut from the 2007-13 budget and were less than the €973 billion that Cameron and northern EU allies such as the Netherlands rejected at a budget summit in November that collapsed without any deal.

In the EU budget process, commitments refer to the maximum amount that can be allocated to programmes while actual spending or "payments" is usually lower as projects are delayed or dropped.

Originally, the European Commission had wanted a 5.0 percent increase in commitments to €1.04 trillion ($1.4 trillion) – about one percent of the EU's total gross domestic product.

After a six-hour delay Thursday, leaders thrashed out the details overnight before breaking in the morning.

Amid the cuts, they also managed to find €6 billion for a new fund to tackle youth unemployment. Jobless numbers across the EU are currently over 26 million, with nearly three out of five under the age of 25 out of work in Spain and Greece.

But there is another important hurdle still to clear – the European Parliament must approve the deal and lawmakers have already made clear they are in no mood for more austerity.

Parliament head Martin Schulz said bluntly on Thursday that he and the assembly would not accept a budget which would compromise EU programmes and undercut its future. "That's called a deficit. I won't sign a deficit budget anymore," he said.

The draft showed key budget areas – the Common Agricultural Policy support payments to farmers and Cohesion Funds, a crucial source of money for new EU members seeking to catch up with their peers – to be largely untouched compared with the November figures.

But plans to use €40 billion to leverage private investment in cross-border energy, transport and digital networks was slashed by a quarter and EU administrative expenditures were cut as well. Some of the roughly 35,000 EU civil servants have already begun strike action over fears they will lose their jobs and the perks.

AFP/DPA/The Local/mry

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

17:20 February 8, 2013 by Englishted
Still too high .
18:04 February 8, 2013 by yllusion
They also should reduce the number of politicians there doing nothing but getting a nice salary, and stop with this Brussels Luxembourg Strasbourg nonsense.
20:21 February 8, 2013 by Kennneth Ingle
Yes you are quite right. Europe was good idea, but, it has turned into an enormous head without a brain. It is a sure sign that something has seriously gone wrong, when even politicians are beginning to realise how dangerous the waste of taxpayers money can be. Usually these heads of state have no conscience themselves, when it comes to spending other peoples cash, so we can be thankful that (hopefully), they are beginning to wake up. Why for example do we pay for industrial and scientific research, but when something new is discovered or invented, the profits pass into private hands.

The EU budget could, by cutting unnecessary expenditure be more than halved. Many of the laws and regulations, (just think of the regulated size and shape of apples and cucumbers), make no sense whatsoever, but cause tremendous costs in production and handle. The only real way to deal with the increase of size of and wastage in, this bureaucratic monster, is for the member states to reduce the parliament and civil-servants employed by 50% and to insist that for every new regulation two older ones be cancelled.
00:26 February 9, 2013 by Brint
I notice that Angela and Dave appear to be sticking close together lately, I know I'll get flak for even daring to suggest it, but in my view I believe that if two countries in Europe should really get on and work well together as natural allies then it would be Britain and Germany.

"Britain becomes Germany's biggest trade partner as Berlin-London pact deepens."

"Britain has overtaken France to become Germany¦#39;s biggest global trade partner for the first time in the modern era, solidifying the emergence of a ¦quot;special relationship¦quot; between Europe¦#39;s two like-minded northern powers."

http://tinyurl.com/as5kuwe
07:18 February 9, 2013 by McM
A step in the right direction at last. Some pragmatic outcomes and at last a willingness by some leaders to tackle the sacred cow mindset in Brussels that has been and,still is pushing for unrealistic open cheques from member countries. Who by the way,are not in the position to dish out so much money to Herr Shultz and the snouts in the trough free lunch club that can't see beyond their cosy EU office and perks. If the EU can't handle review and change of itself it not viable in the flexible world with live in.
08:54 February 9, 2013 by Zubair Khan
When British PM made historic speech on the future of EU it revealed him a visionary leader. Leaders of such clear thinking and vision are seldom born in history. Again he proved himslef a legend in EU budget matter. Even iron lady of Germany found no other way but to agree. Though to save her face the Local reporting the news differently. It reported in following words,¦quot;Deal done! Worth waiting for,¦quot; European Council President Herman Van Rompuy wrote on the online message service Twitter.Negotiating for nearly 26 hours with little break, Merkel, backed by British Prime Minister David Cameron, led a sustained push for the EU budget for 2014-2020 to share in the austerity national governments are facing. The tentative agreement would trim spending by three percent over the rest of the decade.¦quot;In my opinion this is a good deal and it is important,¦quot; said Merkel. ¦quot;The effort was rewarded.¦quot; Those who have close eyes on the situation know it well it is the British PM who gets credit for this bold, clear and visionary stand. Well done British PM David Cameron you are the real champion of EU.
09:46 February 10, 2013 by Englishted
4 net payers and 23 net gainers ,it is rather strange it passed at all.
Today's headlines
Germans still love couch and TV in their free time
Sitting front of the TV - Germany's favourite pastime. Photo: DPA

Germans still love couch and TV in their free time

6 hours ago

A new study shows that Germans' best-loved activity is sitting in front of the idiot box - and when they're not doing that they're probably slumped in front of a computer.

This Week in History
The day that 'sealed East Germany's fate'
At 3am on August 23rd, MPs applauded as the People's Chamber set a date for reunification. Photo: DPA

The day that 'sealed East Germany's fate'

5 hours ago

After the Berlin Wall was destroyed in 1989, East and West Germany still had a long way to go before they could become one nation. But in August 1990, the date was finally set for the birth of reunified Germany.

Migrant crisis
Merkel: Austria tragedy a ‘warning’ for Europe
Forensic experts investigate a truck in which refugees were found dead as it stands by the Autobahn in Austria. Photo: DPA.

Merkel: Austria tragedy a ‘warning’ for Europe

5 hours ago

The "horrible" discovery on Thursday of between 20 and 50 dead migrants on a truck in Austria is a warning to Europe to get to grips with the migrant crisis, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday. Other leading German politicians laid out their plans for handling the influx of refugees.

Facebook to meet gov on Internet hate-mongering
Are Facebook keeping a close enough eye on hate speech? Photo: DPA

Facebook to meet gov on Internet hate-mongering

12 hours ago

Update: Facebook on Thursday accepted an invitation from Germany's justice minister to discuss doing more to purge the social network of racist posts after widespread complaints from users.

Berlin orchestra angers Israel with Iran concert
Renowned conductor Daniel Barenboim is under attack by Israel's government. Photo: DPA

Berlin orchestra angers Israel with Iran concert

8 hours ago

Israeli-Argentinian conductor Daniel Barenboim is hoping to take one of Germany's top orchestras to Iran to perform a concert there, the Berlin State Opera said Thursday, drawing angry protests from Israel.

Netzpolitik Affair
Merkel's office 'hid knowledge of probe'
The Chancellery. Photo: Heinz Albers

Merkel's office 'hid knowledge of probe'

9 hours ago

After digital rights blog Netzpolitik revealed that state prosecutors were investigating two of its journalists for treason, Chancellor Angela Merkel's office reacted with shock. Now Spiegel reports that the Chancellery knew about the investigation in April.

Internet surveillance
Spies 'traded Germans' data for US software'
Photo: DPA

Spies 'traded Germans' data for US software'

10 hours ago

Media reports on Thursday alleged that German spies traded access to information about the country to the US National Security Agency (NSA) in exchange for surveillance software.

Man City snap up De Bruyne for €80 million
Kevin De Bruyne. Photo: DPA

Man City snap up De Bruyne for €80 million

12 hours ago

Manchester City have signed one of the stars of last season's Bundesliga campaign. But he didn't come cheap.

NATO troops join in large German training exercise
NATO paratroopers training in Romania on Wednesday. Photo: DPA

NATO troops join in large German training exercise

13 hours ago

More than 1,000 NATO paratroopers jumped from aircraft above Germany on Wednesday in one of the alliance's largest airborne training exercises in Europe since the Cold War ended, the US army said.

Lightning strikes at least twice in Cottbus
Lightning over Germany. Photo: DPA

Lightning strikes at least twice in Cottbus

1 day ago

If you feel like you are an unlucky person by nature you probably want to avoid Cottbus. A study released on Wednesday shows that the old wisdom that lightning never strikes twice is far from true in the town near the Polish border.

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS

National
Weekend of anti-refugee violence shocks Germany
National
Half of Germans 'have had sex in their car'
Society
Deadly stew spooks home vegetable gardeners
Politics
The man who brought two Germanies together
Features
Where to get your culture fix in Cologne
Education
Fairytale world of Brothers Grimm brought to life
Rhineland
Thieves leave 1,000 open beers untasted
National
Way to some Germans' hearts is through their wallets
National
Germany's biggest challenge: European refugee crisis
Travel
Where to get your adrenaline pumping in Germany
Technology
Could thieves hack into luxury cars?
What to watch out for when snapping your lunch
National
German lefties through history
National
The fight over prostitution heats up
National
Merkel: migrants, not Greece, are the real challenge
Features
How I explained the Queen to the Germans
Education
Why Germany does 'back-to-school' traditions better
National
Germans are ‘not how foreigners think’
National
A mum and daughter reunite 70 years after WWII
Sport
Bra stops bullet in hunting mishap miracle
National
Cows trample German woman to death in Graubünden Alps
Business & Money
Start-up helps new Berliners short cut bureaucracy
National
The 1,000s of Germans massacred after the Second World War
Sport
Germany star scores own goal with PR gaffe
Features
'Women-only' parking: sensible or sexist?
Politics
Satire and reality blur in parody party's strife
National
13-year-old boy detained for trying to join Isis
Culture
Berlin restaurant serves up Greek Crisis Menu
Rhineland
Doctor on trial after woman wakes in morgue
Society
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Society
Police bust kinky Bavarian couple over painful love-making
Politics
Merkel brings Palestinian girl to tears
Hamburg
Amateur archaeologist finds Nazi gold hoard
National
Could Merkel learn a lesson in love from this doppelganger?
Travel
Why you should stay in Germany for the summer holidays
Sport
German press tell Schweinsteiger 'good riddance'
National
Hamburg gets a bouncing 100kg baby girl
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

7,032
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd