BERLIN Nov 14 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
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.