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Europe

Commissioner: EU Budget Fight Anticipated

The outgoing EU budget commissioner has warned there are going to be big fights between the member states about where EU money is spent in the future.

In an interview with German daily Die Welt, Budget Commissioner Michaele Schreyer strongly rejected calls by some member states -- among them her native Germany -- to curb the EU budget for the years 2007-2013 at one percent of gross national income. "If expenditure is to be limited to one percent, then it has to be said which policies should be given up," she said. The debate will fall into the lap of the Lithuanian Dalia Grybauskaite, who takes on the budget portfolio Nov. 1. However, incoming Commission President Jose Barroso has already tied his colors to the mast on the issue of budget negations. In an interview last week, he said "Europe cannot have ambitious policies with insufficient money," and pledged to stick with the proposals the Romano Prodi's commission made in February, against which net paying member states are protesting so strongly. ( EUobserver.com)

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