Dutch finance minister threatens to veto EU budget increase

Finance minister Jan Kees de Jager told MPs on Tuesday he will not accept an above-inflation budget for the European Union for 2013.

The European parliament and the European commission are asking for a 7% rise in their budget to €138bn. De Jager says the rise is ‘unbelievable’.
The 2013 budget can only be blocked if a number of countries stand together to form a ‘blocking minority’.
Longer term
The European commission is also seeking a budget settlement for the 2014-2020 period of €l,033bn or 1.08% of EU gross national income (gni) in commitments, and €988bn or 1.03% of EU gni in payments.
This long-term budget can only be accepted by a unanimous vote. De Jager says the government will ‘dig in its heels’ if the EU does not conform to Dutch wishes for an inflation-based increase next year, and that he will use the Netherlands’ veto.
The minister will be supported in both fights by British prime minister David Cameron, who already warned there must be no increase above inflation and that Britain will ‘stick to our guns’ in vetoing the budget.
Is De Jager right to threaten to use the veto? Have your say using the comment box below.

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