The Straits Times
Published on Nov 24, 2012

Britain's Cameron wins new allies in EU budget battle


BRUSSELS (AFP) - British Prime Minister David Cameron has ended his European isolation, for the time being at least, after Germany and other nations backed his call for cuts to the troubled European Union (EU) budget.

Nearly a year ago Mr Cameron was the outcast of Europe, finding himself shunned by angry counterparts when he vetoed a crucial fiscal pact that was aimed at tackling the crisis in the euro zone.

But this time there were few of the same recriminations and Mr Cameron named Germany, Sweden, The Netherlands, Finland and Denmark as having backed his position.

By marshalling an austerity-supporting "northern European" bloc he will also please eurosceptics in his party back home who are threatening to rebel if he does not loosen Britain's ties with the EU.