Poland's prime minister said Tuesday he still hopes amendments can be made to the European Union's future budget proposed by the British presidency, but time is running out. "We are capable of correcting this budget, but the chances are dwindling with the passage of time," Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz said on state Radio 1.
On Monday, Britain proposed to slash overall EU spending by Ђ24 billion (US$28 billion) in the years 2007-2013 and to substantially cut aid to the bloc's 10 newest and poorest member states. That would translate into some Ђ6.1 billion (US$7.2 billion) less for Poland. In a conciliatory attempt, Britain also offered to cut its budget rebate and pay around Ђ1 billion (US$1.2 billion ) more a year into EU coffers to help fund enlargement, but European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso condemned the package as unrealistic and unambitious.
Marcinkiewicz, who has also rejected the proposal as "unacceptable," said Tuesday he understands it is just a "way of negotiating" by the British leaders, whom he called "tough diplomats,” reports the AP. I.L.