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As EU drowns in debt, Denmark to serve tap water

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(COPENHAGEN) - With Europe swimming in debt, Denmark vowed Monday to run a "low-cost" presidency of the European Union and serve tap water during official meetings of the 27-nation bloc.

And dignitaries beware: The Danish government plans to dole out fewer gifts as it caps its budget for the six-month EU presidency at 35 million euros. This compares to the 115 million euros spent by Poland and 85 million euros by Hungary last year.

"It's the last time you'll see these bottles of water. Next they will be replaced by the good pure Danish tap water," Denmark's European affairs minister Nicolai Wammen told visiting foreign journalists in Copenhagen.

Denmark, which took over the rotating presidency on January 1, will also hold fewer European ministeral meetings. One of the jobs of nations that hold the rotating presidency is to host some meetings of EU ministers.

"We're very cost efficient in Denmark," Wammen said. "We want to have an efficient presidency at low cost."


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