Sunday 20 April 2014

Angela Merkel: EU budget deal may not be concluded this week

Angela Merkel says Europe's sovereign debt crisis will last at least five more years

GERMAN Chancellor Angela Merkel said today it may not be possible to reach an agreement on the European Union's seven-year, €1 trillion budget this week and a further round of negotiations may be required at a later date.

Merkel, whose country is the biggest net contributor to EU coffers, said it was important to restrain and make better use of European spending and played down the likelihood of a deal at a two-day summit starting on Thursday.

"It is important that we arrive at a solution. Whether that can happen now in these two days, Thursday and Friday, I don't know. Germany wants to reach the goal but it may be that we need a further stage," she told reporters on arrival in Brussels.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny is among EU leaders in Brussels to discuss the Budget.

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