Dutch prime minister ‘cautiously hopeful’ of EU deal next year

The EU summit aimed at agreeing a new multi-year budget for the community broke up on Friday without result, leading Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte to say he is ‘cautiously hopeful’ a deal will be reached early next year.

Rutte declined to go into the actual negotiations but said he was pleased some money was being shifted to innovation and research. ‘This is an area where we get out more than we pay in,’ he told reporters.
Rutte said progress had been made but he was not satisfied. Nevertheless, he declined to say any more about concrete results. ‘That would damage the Dutch position,’ news agency ANP quoted him as saying.
The last proposals from European Council president Herman van Rompuy would have allowed the Netherlands to keep its €1bn rebate but would also lead to a cut in income from European customs and import duties.
EU budget talks break up without deal