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EU annual budget talks collapse, in worrying sign

Saturday - 11/10/2012, 9:16am  ET

PARIS (AP) - Negotiations over next year's European Union budget have collapsed after a dispute between member states and the European Commission over a shortfall in the 2012 budget. The talks, which essentially ended before they began, could be a sign of trouble ahead for longer-term EU budget issues.

At issue was a (EURO)8.9 billion ($11.3 billion) shortfall for 2012, according to the European Commission, which asked the states to cover the sum. Several states imposing spending cuts at home questioned the amount.

In a statement on his website, the European Parliament lead negotiator Alain Lamassoure said the commission must submit a new proposal before talks, which face a Tuesday deadline, could continue.

The only agreement Friday was for (EURO)670 million in aid to Italian earthquake victims _ but not how to fund it.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)