Very Difficult Negotiations Lie Ahead

This was Tony Blairs view, that ‘very difficult negotiations lie ahead’ on the EU budget. You bet they do. Just look at the list of proposals:

– a cut in the seven-year EU budget to roughly €850bn, or 1.03 per cent of the union’s GDP;
– Britain would give up part of its rebate: €6bn-€9bn is the working figure used by officials;
– cuts of “no more than 10 per cent” to the €160bn of EU aid earmarked for new members in eastern Europe;
– cuts of about €5bn to rural development aid;
– a review of all EU spending in 2009, including farm support.

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About Edward Hugh

Edward 'the bonobo is a Catalan economist of British extraction. After being born, brought-up and educated in the United Kingdom, Edward subsequently settled in Barcelona where he has now lived for over 15 years. As a consequence Edward considers himself to be "Catalan by adoption". He has also to some extent been "adopted by Catalonia", since throughout the current economic crisis he has been a constant voice on TV, radio and in the press arguing in favor of the need for some kind of internal devaluation if Spain wants to stay inside the Euro. By inclination he is a macro economist, but his obsession with trying to understand the economic impact of demographic changes has often taken him far from home, off and away from the more tranquil and placid pastures of the dismal science, into the bracken and thicket of demography, anthropology, biology, sociology and systems theory. All of which has lead him to ask himself whether Thomas Wolfe was not in fact right when he asserted that the fact of the matter is "you can never go home again".