BERLIN: The European Union (EU) kicked off 2012 already 11 billion euros (US$14.6bil) in the red, its budget commissioner told a German newspaper.
Commissioner Janusz Lewandowski warned that he would be forced to press the EU’s 27 member states for more funding to make up for any shortfall. The EU had received a large 15-billion-euro bill for structural aid at the end of last year and had only been able to foot part of it in 2011, he said accounting for the 2012 deficit.
“There will probably be a deficit at the end of the year for which I will have to ask for extra financing.”
The Polish commissioner pointed to the fact that EU members had agreed only a 1.9% increase in EU spending for 2012 to 129 billion euros amid the spiralling debt crisis.
Talks by European nations are currently focused on kick-starting growth and increasing competitiveness. The 27 member states face tough negotiations on the EU’s spending priorities for its next budgetary cycle from 2014 to 2020. — AFP
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