News Column

Merkel, Hollande Urge Compromise on EU Budget

Nov. 22, 2012
Francois Hollande
French President Francois Hollande

A compromise must be found on European Union spending for 2014-20, Germany and France said ahead of a crunch summit on Thursday, but Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that more time might be needed to strike a deal.

"This has to do with predictability for investments of the future. That is why it is important that we reach a solution," Merkel said before talks started in Brussels. "But whether we will manage in these two days, I don't know ... We might need a second stage."

"I am coming to get a compromise. I am not coming to give an ultimatum," French President Francois Hollande said as he arrived shortly after. "I am sure that with Germany, we are going to be - as always - a motor to allow this compromise."

But the two leaders detailed different priorities. Merkel spoke of the need to "be careful that spending is not too high ... in times of budget consolidation." Hollande defended agricultural spending and said he would make sure "growth policies can be fully supported."

Source: Copyright 2012 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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