'Satisfied' Monti says Italy's EU net contribution cut

New European budget 'significant improvement' says premier

'Satisfied' Monti says Italy's EU net contribution cut

Brussels, February 8 - Italian Premier Mario Monti said Friday's deal on the EU's budget for the next seven years was "satisfying" because it featured a "very significant improvement" in Italy's contributions. He said Italy's net contribution - the difference between what it pays into the bloc and receives from it - will be 3.8 billion euros for the 2014-2020 period. The net contribution was 4.5 billion in the 2007-2013 period, although it reached six billion in 2011, when Italy was the biggest contributor to the EU budget in relation to the size of its gross domestic product. "We negotiated very hard," said Monti. "I think it's a significant, concrete start towards a reversal of the trend, but there will certainly be further battles". European leaders agreed to set a new budget ceiling of 960 billion euros, down from 1.03 trillion euros, in the first-ever reduction to the EU's multi-annual budget.

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