Berlin

Monti makes case for 'fair, transparent' EU budget

Italian premier on campaign to quash spending cuts

Monti makes case for 'fair, transparent' EU budget

Berlin, January 31 - Italian Premier Mario Monti continued his campaign for a European Union budget decision on Thursday, telling Germany that the European Union's policy needed to be more "fair and transparent". After meeting in Brussels with European Council President Herman Van Rompuy earlier Thursday, Monti was in Berlin discussing with Chancellor Angela Merkel the 2014-2020 budget, which has been stalled in talks over cuts in spending, which Italy opposes. Making his case before the meeting, Monti said that Italy had been "the top net contributor" to the European budget, and that "in the past 10 years it has paid more than what was justified". EU leaders are meeting in Brussels on February 7 and 8 to discuss the 2014-2020 budget, which Monti has argued must be focused on boosting growth, which he says is not feasible by reducing EU spending. He said Wednesday that a growth pact was "probably at risk of being undermined" at the budget meeting next month. Monti will continue his campaign around Europe as he tries to rally support.

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