EU leaders reach 3% budget reduction deal

EU leaders reach 3% budget reduction deal

PanARMENIAN.Net - EU leaders have reached an agreement on the budget for 2014-20 after lengthy talks in Brussels, BBC News said.

European Council President Herman Van Rompuy announced the deal and said in a statement it was "worth working for". The new budget ceiling amounts to 960bn euros (£812bn; $1.3tn). It is the first time the EU's multi-annual budget has been reduced.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron, who had been pressing for cuts, hailed it as a "good deal for Britain".

French President Francois Hollande, who had argued against big spending cuts, said it was a "good compromise". German Chancellor Angela Merkel also welcomed the deal, which represents a 3.3% reduction from the previous seven-year budget.

Countries such as France and Italy had sought to protect spending, while others pressed for cuts at a time of national austerity.

The budget must still be approved by the European Parliament.

The four biggest political groups in parliament have said they "cannot accept it as it stands because it is not in the interests of Europe's citizens."

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