David Cameron threatened to veto a deal on the European Union's proposed budget for 2014-20 as he arrived in Brussels for two days of talks with fellow EU leaders on how much the 27-nation bloc should spend.
The Prime Minister demanded further reductions on the €973bn seven-year program on which the leaders failed to reach agreement at a previous budget summit last November.
Mr Cameron said: "The numbers are much too high. They need to come down -- and if they don't come down there won't be a deal". He added: "The European Union should not be immune to the sorts of pressure we have to reduce spending, find efficiencies and spend wisely -- what we are all doing."
Herman Van Rompuy, who is chairing the summit as president of the European Council, is tabling revised proposals to the 27 leaders in the hope of breaking the deadlock.
But Angela Merkel, who has been trying to broker an agreement, suggested that several countries were still far apart. Francois Hollande, the French President, called for "clarity" over the special rebates on the EU contributions enjoyed by some members -- a sign that he would demand cuts in the one won by Margaret Thatcher in 1984. M Hollande suggested that Mr Cameron was the stumbling block to a deal but said he would try to convince the Prime Minister to reach agreement.
Mr Van Rompuy is trying to bridge a divide between a group of northern nations, including Britain, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden, who favor spending restraint, and a club of southern and eastern countries, including Spain and Poland, who are keener to maintain EU budgets. Many of the net recipients from the EU are opposing the cuts demanded by Mr Cameron.
READ FULL SOURCE ARTICLE: 02/07/2013
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