EU budget cut close to agreement. Probably
After a long night of deals, European Council president, Herman Van Rompuy finally tabled his budget proposals at 6am on Friday morning after yet another marathon summit. His proposal was to cut the budget from €942.8 billion to €908.4 billion together with a cut in the ‘commitment ceiling’ from €993.6bn €960bn for 2014-20.
The deal was praised by those who were looking to decrease the budget, led by the UK, Germany, Netherlands and Finland, but was criticized by other figures for creating a ‘deficit budget.’
Andrew Duff, the pro-federalist UK ALDE MEP, said the deal “forced the EU into deficit budgeting” which he said was against the treaty and described the negotiators as “idiots” on his Twitter feed.
Martin Schulz seemed to agree, saying "As President of the EP, I cannot, will not and, indeed, may not accept what amounts to deficit budgets." Martin Callanan, the leader of the UK Conservatives described the idea of the European Parliament holding a secret vote on the results of the budget talks as “a highly cynical and unaccountable act.”
During the negotiations, both David Cameron and Angela Merkel were said to have briefly slept on sofas in their respective delegation rooms and the Belgian PM, Elio Di Rupo made an appearance in the press bar at 3.30 am, where he had a sandwich and forecast long negotiations.
There were reports of some leaders being so unhappy that they were seen to shout at the Council President.
The discussions were suspended at 10am for a two hour break.