Sweden to save millions in new EU budget

Sweden welcomed the new EU budget agreement reached on Saturday, which will lower Sweden's EU fee by 300 million kronor ($45 million) compared to the government's original estimates.

The EU members’ governments and the European Parliament agreed to limit expenditures in 2012’s budget to €129 billion ($177 billion), an increase of two percent compared to 2011.

“The decision was unanimous,” said Jacek Dominik, chairman of the council of ministers, who led the marathon meeting which started on Friday evening and went on into the night.

Hans Lindblad, state secretary with the Swedish finance ministry, is pleased with the results of the budget talks.

“It’s one of the tightest budgets achieved, and it’s a good compromise for Sweden and for EU,” he said to news agency TT on the telephone from Brussels.

The agreement means that Sweden’s EU fee for next year will be 300 million kronor less than the government accounted for in the Swedish budget proposal.

“When we entered negotiations, the difference between us and the European Parliament was a raising of the fee by one billion kronor for Sweden, so of course we’re satisfied,” said Hans Lindblad.

The limitation was introduced by the European governments forced to cut their own budgets, and take on savings packages because of the debt crisis.

The agreement was a defeat for the members of the European Parliament who voted for a budget of €133.1 billion on October 26.

The ministers and diplomats who participated in Friday’s negotiations tried to agree on a budget that balanced between saving and financial growth.

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