PM meets with five EU leaders over bloc’s budget

PM meets with five EU leaders over bloc’s budget

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis held talks in Brussels on Friday with the leaders of Germany Angela Merkel, France Emmanuel Macron, Spain Pedro Sanchez, Italy Giuseppe Conte and Portugal Antonio Costa in a bid to break a deadlock in negotiations for the European Union’s 2021-2027 budget.

The leaders of the six member-states were seeking to find common ground on a range of issues, after a day and a night of talks failed to bridge divisions between richer and poorer nations over the size of the next budget and what to spend it on.

Greece’s main priorities are safeguarding the resources available in farm aid through the Common Agricultural Policy and increasing cohesion funds.

Arriving at the summit on Thursday, Mitsotakis had said that “we cannot be expected to do more with less.”

“We need a bigger envelope if we want to support at the same time traditional policies like cohesion and the common agricultural policy… If we want to be very ambitious, we will need more resources,” the Greek prime minister said in doorstep comments.

His comments were a response to the tough stance adopted prior to the meeting by Denmark, Austria, Sweden and the Netherlands, who insist that the budget cannot top 1 percent of economic output, earning them the moniker Frugal Four. That stance had not changed on Friday.

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