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Germany blasts proposed EU budget

The Local · 30 Jun 2011, 12:20

Published: 30 Jun 2011 12:20 GMT+02:00

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"My first impression from the proposals presented... is that the Commission's total volume of the budgetary framework is, for the German government, irresponsibly high," Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said in a statement.

"In times of general budgetary consolidation Brussels must also send a message to frugally and sustainably economise."

He said the European Union, like debt-wracked members of the eurozone, needed to sharply limit spending.

Westerwelle said Germany saw one percent of EU economic output - forecast as €1 trillion ($1.4 billion) for the 2014-2020 period - as sufficient to cover EU spending during that time.

He also blasted the Commission's calls for the introduction of an EU sales tax and financial services tax, saying a majority of EU states opposed such a move.

"We don't need such taxes because the EU does not have a financing problem," the minister, a member of the pro-business Free Democrats, said.

He said he welcomed new provisions for research, education and innovation and called on the EU to invest an even greater share of its budget in these areas by shifting funds from other, unspecified expenditures.

The European Commission urged the introduction of an EU sales tax and financial services tax as part of an overhaul of the next EU budget.

The proposals from Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso to seek new sources of revenue aim to allow the bloc's executive arm to raise its own funds rather than depend so heavily on funding from the EU member states.

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The outline of the next seven-year budget totalled €1.025 trillion in commitments or about 1.05 percent of output. Britain also slammed the proposals as "unrealistic".

Germany, the biggest economic power in the EU, is the top contributor to the the 27-member bloc's budget with payments of €20 billion per year. Subtracting what it receives from the EU budget, its net annual contribution is €8 billion.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

15:28 June 30, 2011 by Englishted
I think German should stand with the Brits on this one.

I read it is a 5% increase.

Does not the E.U. remember the Americans in 1776 "No taxation without representation" same applies in 2011.
16:40 June 30, 2011 by twisted
Personally, and with the exception of the Euro being the common currency for 17 countries, I think the whole EU thing is a tremendous waste of money. Thousands of high paid bureaucrats plus all of those overpaid parliamentarians on per diem and not showing up, different functions in different countries and now a foreign service with ambassadors and diplomats....plus all of the subsidies....sorry, just a waste of money. And of course, the big thing is that the countries can never agree on anything...a joke of monumental proportions.
16:56 June 30, 2011 by danceswithgoats
A trillion Euros for what? Mind boggling.
17:29 June 30, 2011 by MJMH
This is a serious question, not a joke. Except for immigrants that want to change society to their way of thinking, and sending money to Brussels that should go towards social services, what does Germany or indeed any country get from the EU. I'm really confused. The EU says trade, but Europe has always traded, Freedom of movement, well the only ones taking advantage of that are people from outside the European Union.
18:56 June 30, 2011 by toemag
Can we stop playing this game now it's getting boring and damned expensive. I would like to see €U elections for presidency and all other positions within that institution by 2014, where every €U citizen has a vote otherwise this is a dictatorship worse than the one that is currently being bombed by our Air force's.
03:46 July 4, 2011 by Wise Up!
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