Many of the EU nations have adopted such severe austerity programs that unions and students have taken to the streets in protest. Greece recently had riots that shuttered the national transportation system. There have been similar incidents in Spain and Italy.
The UK asked that several of the largest nations in the alliance support a budget freeze for the EU and has received support from France and Germany, the two largest economies in the region by GDP.
Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that he and other European leaders will call for a real-terms freeze in the EU budget for 2014-2020.
Cameron specifically said he had the support of French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“All around Europe, countries are tightening their belts to deal with their deficits. Europe cannot be immune from that. We want to see real budgetary restraint for 2014-20 – the time of the next financial perspective. That is why the text we will publish talks about at least a real-term freeze in the budget for that period.”
Cameron may be voted out of office in his own country for his successful push to get austerity measures into place which could cost 400,000 public jobs. But, at least he may be able to say that he was instrumental in his effort to blunt the growth of the EU budget.
Douglas A. McIntyre