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Germany Seen Paying More into EU Coffers

Germany's contribution to the EU's coffers is set to rise by billions of euro by 2013.

Germany's contribution to the EU's coffers is set to rise by billions of euros by 2013. According to a study by the French International Relations Institute (IFRI), quoted by Die Welt, Berlin's net contribution to the EU could rise to €16 billion ($20.2 billion) a year by 2013. In 2002, the net contribution of the Union's largest member state was €7 billion; this rose to €9.5 billion last year. The institution has based its calculations with the EU budget set at one percent of gross national income -- something demanded by six of the biggest contributors to the EU budget, including Germany. It has also assumed that the British rebate is kept. If the British rebate were to be scrapped, Germany would be paying €15.5 billion per year but with the rebate, the contribution would lie at €16.2 billion. However, should the British rebate be taken away and instead a general rebate for all member states put in place, then Germany's contribution would sink to €14.1 billion. The study does not include costs for EU-hopefuls such as Turkey or Croatia, noted the paper. Meanwhile, the Financial Times noted that Germany, Italy, Portugal and Greece are all at risk of breaching European Union ceilings on budget deficits in 2005. The euro's stability pact sets a ceiling for budget deficits at three percent of gross domestic product. (EUobserver.com)

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