UK EU budget deal not tight enough: Reinfeldt

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said that he would not support Britain's drive to restrict EU spending, saying it was not far-reaching enough, Sveriges Radio (SR) reported on Friday.

UK EU budget deal not tight enough: Reinfeldt

“We see [the initiative] as a bit unclear and from Sweden’s perspective, not budget-restrictive enough,” Reinfeldt said of a text hammered out by Britain, France and Germany, among others, stating their stance against overspending in the bloc to be presented Saturday.

Ahead of tough budget negotiations next year, British Prime Minister David Cameron said Friday German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and other unnamed partners will publish a text Saturday stating their stance against overspending.

Finland and the Netherlands are joining that declaration, said Finnish President Mari Kiviniemi.

After twisting the parliament’s arm into submission to limit the 2011 budget to a 2.9 percent increase to €126.5 billion ($166.68 million) — instead of a six percent rise — Cameron said the bloc’s “big three” wanted to do “even better” in 2012 and 2013.

For the 27-nation bloc’s 2014-2020 budgetary period, the leaders will call for a real-terms freeze, meaning it could not rise above inflation, he said.

“This is an attempt by a group of countries to emphasise that the EU’s budget cannot grow too much. Our opinion is that even the possibility for budget growth the signing countries open for goes too far,” Reinfeldt told SR.

Asked if this meant Sweden wanted deeper budget cuts, he said, “It is rather that we don’t want (the budget) to grow as much as their description could entail.”

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