Budget talks run aground again


Efforts to settle an EU budget for 2013 ran aground for the second time in four days.

There was confusion as MEPs threatened to shun emergency talks last night with governments. They eventually turned up, but the talks hardly started because it was clear that a deal could not be reached.

The breakdown threatens a separate push next week to agree a seven-year spending plan for the union.

EU governments are insisting on a budget payments rise no greater than 2.79 per cent next year but MEPs are pressing for a 6.82 per cent hike to €137.9 billion.