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Europe more divided than ever over budget, Danish PM: We will not reach agreement

Christian Fernsby |
European Union leaders appeared no closer to reaching a deal on the bloc's next joint budget today, with deep divisions between richer and poorer nations.

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Some want extra funding to match new ambitions to fight climate change and manage migration, some want a continued focus on development and farm aid, and some are pushing for greater realism in recognizing the 75 billion euro ($81 billion) fiscal hole left by net contributor Britain's EU exit.

A baseline proposal to cap the budget which will run from 2021 to 2027 at 1.074% of EU gross national income, or 1.09 trillion euros ($1.18 trillion), was facing criticism from all quarters.

Dubbed the Frugal Four, the bloc's wealthy net contributors Austria, the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden want to put the budget ceiling at 1% of GDP and refuse to pay more to make up for the loss of Britain's payments.

Their less developed peers are the main beneficiaries of EU funds and want to keep generous aid coming regardless.

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen: “I am willing to stay and I’m prepared to stay the whole weekend but no, I don’t think we are going to reach an agreement.”

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