Commission eyes budget hike set to anger states
(BRUSSELS) - The European Commission will push Wednesday for a 138 billion euro ($182 billion) EU budget next year, a 6.8 percent increase sure to irk nations pressed by Brussels to slash their own spending.
The increase of 9.0 billion euros is needed to cover existing European Union spending commitments, EU sources said.
But a diplomat warned that several governments including Britain, France and Germany already find the request unacceptable at a time when nations are under pressure from the EU's executive arm to tighten their belts.
The spokesman for EU Budget Commissioner Janusz Lewandowski refused to confirm the figures because they will be discussed during a European Commission meeting on Wednesday.
But he said Brussels needs a "substantial" budget increase to pay the bills on projects already approved by the EU's 27 member states.
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