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UK sees possible deal on EU budget this week

Published on Nov 19, 2012 8:34 PM

LONDON (REUTERS) - Britain believes a deal can be reached on the European Union budget at crunch talks in Brussels this week, a spokesman for Prime Minister David Cameron told reporters on Monday.

The positive language on prospects for an agreement are in marked contrast to Mr Cameron's comment's earlier this month in which he said he did not have "very high hopes" on what he called "ludicrous" proposals for the EU budget.

The spokeswoman gave no reason for the change in tone, but said Mr Cameron had in recent days spoken to leaders in Poland, Sweden, Denmark, France, Germany and the Netherlands, and would be calling other EU leaders in the coming days.

All but one of those countries - Poland - contacted so far are net contributors to the EU budget, and more likely to be sympathetic to Britain's demands of a real terms freeze in EU spending, if not a real terms cut.

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