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Germany

Germany Warns New EU States over Funds

Eastern European states looking forward to their EU accession in 2004 may face the reality of having less money than they expected after Germany chided those who have been pushing for more. German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder outlined his country's position on the forthcoming negotiations on the EU budget, due to begin early next year, saying "Germany was and is still prepared, as the biggest net payer, to show and push for solidarity. But too much should not be asked of us." Schröder added that the total expenditure of the European Union should continue to be restricted and that, although central and eastern European members would get most of the allocated structural aid funds, the new members states to be included in the eastern push should not attempt to pressure those holding the purse strings into being more generous.