The Straits Times
Published on Feb 02, 2013

European Union budget talks will be 'very difficult': Merkel


BERLIN (AFP) - Negotiations to thrash out the European Union's next seven-year budget will be "very difficult", German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday, warning that it may take time to reach a deal.

"We can't say yet whether the talks will succeed. I only know that the negotiations will be very difficult," she said in her weekly podcast broadcast on her website.

The comments came as EU leaders are preparing to meet in Brussels on Thursday and Friday for a second attempt at finding a deal on the 27-nation bloc's 2014-2020, trillion-euro budget after failing to clinch an agreement at a summit in November.

Ms Merkel, who is seeking a third term in office this year, said she "would do everything to reach an agreement".