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EU lawmakers threaten to veto tightened budget

By The Associated Press

This article was published February 18, 2013 at 8:56 a.m.

— The leaders of the European Parliament are threatening to veto the bloc’s multi-annual budget because of its deep cuts.

The Christian Democratic EPP, the largest group in the legislature, said the seven-year budget worth $1.28 trillion must be revised to realistically reflect the EU’s growing competences and responsibilities.

Socialist leader Hannes Swoboda called the budget, which needs parliament’s approval, unacceptable and said there won’t be a majority for the proposed plan.

The EU’s 27 member states earlier this month agreed on a budget deal that foresees the first cuts in the bloc’s history for the years 2014-2020.

EU President Herman Van Rompuy defended the plan as shifting funds toward growth-friendly investment while recognizing the need to tighten belts currently felt across Europe.

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