French President Francois Hollande, center, greets German Chancellor Angela Merkel prior to a bilateral meeting during an EU summit in Brussels on Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012. EU leaders begin what is expected to be a marathon summit on the budget for the years 2014-2020. The meeting could last through Saturday and break up with no result and lots of finger-pointing. (AP Photo/Bertrand Langlois, Pool)
BRUSSELS (AP) — The leaders of Britain and France staked out starkly different visions of Europe’s future Thursday as talks began in Brussels on how much the European Union should be allowed to spend, setting the stage for a long, divisive and possibly inconclusive summit.
While British Prime Minister David Cameron is seeking to keep payments into EU coffers down as low as possible, French President Francois Hollande called for sustained subsidies for farming and development programs for poorer nations.
With each of the 27 nations having the power of veto over the 2014-2020 budget, the summit negotiations could stretch over the weekend, perhaps without result.
Cameron voiced the concerns of several other countries that do not want to see an increase in the bloc’s spending plan at a time Login to read more