EU Budget has Member States divided; Rutte firm on spending limits

The leaders of the European Union Member States made no progress in their negotiations regarding the new EU budget on Thursday, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said to NOS when he left the meeting just after midnight. The leaders hare heavily divided.

On Friday morning, European Council president Charles Michel will present a new proposal. During the last hours of Thursday's meetings, the leaders explained to him what they wanted. The Netherlands did this with Austria, Sweden and Denmark, who have the same goals.

Rutte reiterated that he will continue to advocate for a frugal attitude, particularly that the Netherlands does not want to pay more money to the EU.

"We are severely divided for the time being. The Christian Democrats even disagree so much that they have not even had a separate meeting of Christian Democratic leaders." The Dutch Prime Minister is not hopeful that Friday's meetings will achieve much. "But miracles can happen," he said.

Michel previously warned that this might be a long summit. Rutte therefore took a book with him - the biography of Chopin, he said to NOS. "But I haven't been able to read it yet, it was busier than I expected."

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