European Union disagreements

This video is called Nikolaos Chountis – “Today in Greece, the Troika is the real government.”

By Stefan Steinberg:

European Union budget talks deadlock

23 November 2012

Sharp conflicts emerged this week in discussions over the European Union’s (EU) budget. The negotiation of a new EU budget every seven years is regularly characterised by nationalist grandstanding, but this time tensions between European member states are particularly pronounced.

EU leaders began their summit meeting at 8pm Thursday in Brussels but failed to reach an agreement. Further talks are scheduled on Friday and, if necessary, over the weekend.

The run-up to the Thursday summit saw considerable wrangling between member states over the budget, which must be agreed unanimously. It was €127 billion (US$163.6 billion) for 2011, spent on farm subsidies (44 percent), development aid for poorer EU regions (33 percent), research (8.5 percent), and administrative costs (6 percent). Three-quarters of the funds were paid by European national governments, while the remainder come from sales tax and customs receipts.

The European Commission originally proposed a small increase in the EU budget for the period 2014 to 2020 to a total of just over €1 trillion. This proposal was then supported by the European Parliament and those 17 countries, mainly from southern and eastern Europe, which are net recipients of EU funds.

The European Commission proposal was opposed, however, by net contributors to the EU budget, centred on a core of northern European countries, notably Germany, the Netherlands and Finland. These countries argued against any increase in the EU budget and demanded it be limited to one percent of the EU’s economy, or €960 billion.

Opposition to both the European Commission proposal and the German stance came from the British Premier David Cameron. Cameron came to Brussels with a mandate from the British parliament to insist on budget cuts, after a core of deputies from Cameron’s Conservative party joined ranks with the opposition Labour Party to demand reductions in the EU budget.

EU Budget talks collapse: an opportunity for politicians to think again: here.

The failure of European leaders in Brussels to finalise the European budget means that the threat of massive funding cuts to our countryside and wildlife still loom large, says the RSPB: here.

Moody’s downgrades French debt rating, presses for austerity in Europe: here.

IMF steps up pressure on Romanian government prior to election: here.

2 thoughts on “European Union disagreements

  1. Municipal workers continue strikes and protests throughout Greece

    Municipal workers took strike action and protested throughout Greece Tuesday to protest the latest €13.5 billion ($17 billion) austerity measures being imposed by the three-party coalition government.

    During the day municipal (Poe-Ota) workers struck and occupied many government buildings nationwide. Two-thirds of Greece’s 325 municipalities were closed to the public due to the strikes and protests. In Athens a demonstration was held attended by around 2,000 people.

    On Thursday the protests were still ongoing with local government employees continuing sit-ins at municipal and regional government headquarters. On Friday all municipal offices in the Attica region remained closed.

    A strike by members of the public sector trade union Adedy to oppose the lay-off of workers employed by central and local governments was held Thursday with a rally at the central Klafthmonos square in Athens later in the day. Also protesting were members of the Olme trade union that represents middle and high school teachers.


    Tens of thousands of Spanish health workers protest

    On Monday tens of thousands of health workers protested in Spain against the austerity measures, including budget cuts and privatisations, being imposed by the government of Popular Party prime minister Mariano Rajoy.

    During the day the workers doctors, nurses and hospital staff marched through the capital Madrid. Many were dressed in white and carried placards. They chanted, “Health is a right. We are going to fight”.

    The demonstration follows regular protest by health workers including the occupation of about 20 hospitals in Madrid and surrounding areas. This has been to protest the regional government’s decision to privatise six health units as part of upcoming budget cuts.

    The health cuts will lead to many people going without treatment. These include pensioners, who previously had to pay nothing for medicine but are now expected to pay least 10 percent of the cost.


  2. Pingback: European Union supports Bahrain dictatorship | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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