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Poland urges no veto on tricky 2014-2020 EU budget

10 november 2012, 12:49
0
Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk. ©REUTERS
Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk. ©REUTERS
Poland on Friday urged net beneficiary EU members not to block talks on the contentious 2014-2020 budget proposed by Brussels which the 27-member bloc is expected to focus on at an upcoming summit, AFP reports.

"A veto of the budget is not in Poland's interest. It creates the opportunity to find solutions for the future -- it shouldn't be used except as a last resort," Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk said Friday.

"There are some countries that would be very pleased to see one of the net beneficiary countries impose their veto. Poland won't do it," Tusk said.

Warsaw leads a group of 15 EU countries -- mostly newcomers -- who are net beneficiaries of EU funds and are opposed to austerity cuts to social cohesion funds.

The run-up to this month's EU 2014-2020 budget summit is proving even more fractious than usual as the major contributors dig their heels in, demanding cuts and concessions while the Commission insists on a 5.0-percent spending hike.

Cohesion spending accounts for some 43 percent of the budget but since it mostly goes to the new states it is more vulnerable because the big contributors do not risk offending their own domestic interests if it is cut.

Should the summit fail to produce an agreement, the most likely outcome would be further negotiations, horse-trading until a solution is found.

If that fails, then come 2014, the 2013 budget would be rolled over on a monthly basis plus an increase to cover inflation, put at around 2.0 percent.

The prime minister also vowed that next week his centrist government would approve the EU's fiscal pact requiring members with high debt to keep their structural deficits below 0.5 percent of gross domestic product to overcome the eurozone crisis.

The measure will then be submitted to parliament where it is expected to pass without incident.

While Poland is aiming to meet all macro-economic targets for eurozone readiness by next year, Warsaw has said it will adopt the troubled European single currency only when its debt woes end.

But Tusk said Friday Poland already wants a say in talks on the euro's future.

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