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Barroso: UK's budget shuts the door for Bulgaria, Romania

Date: 14.12.2005

The European Union cannot accommodate Bulgaria and Romania if Britain's latest proposal for EU 2007-2013 budget is approved at the December 15-16 summit, Jose Manuel Barroso, the European Commission president has warned.

Barroso told the Independent that the 10 new member states in the EU resented the budget proposed by Blair, and the budget would not be large enough to allow Bulgaria and Romania to join the EU as planned in 2007.

"There is a contradiction between the ... ambition for a modern, open enlarged Europe and the ... means to achieve it," Barroso said in an interview for the Independent.

"With that budget we cannot accommodate Bulgaria and Romania. If there is no [EU] financial agreement we will suffer ... because the conditions for a more efficient [trade] round will not be there, Europe will be paralyzed. There will be no conditions for ambitious results in terms of trade if we do not get a fair agreement on the financial perspectives."

The UK wants to trim EUR 24 B off a deal proposed in June - some EUR 14 B of which would be taken out of regional aid for the new member states. The UK says they will be unable to absorb all this cash.

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