Van Rompuy Urges Hostile EU Parliament to Pass Budget

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The European Parliament, hostile to just agreed spending cuts in the EU budget and with the final say on the deal, must now live up to its responsibilities and pass it, EU President Herman Van Rompuy said Friday.

EU leaders had settled sharp their differences over the 2014-20 budget and now "I hope that the European Parliament will meet it's (responsibilities)," Van Rompuy said after marathon talks lasting more than 24 hours.

But the heads of the four largest groups in Parliament said they would not accept the budget as it would not help boost the struggling EU economy.

"The European Parliament cannot accept today's deal ... as it is," they said in a joint statement, regretting that Van Rompuy had not negotiated with them beforehand.

"The real negotiations will start now with the European Parliament. We will maintain our priorities which we have clearly stated many times," they added.

Van Rompuy warned that the European budget was not "an accounting exercise" and before rejecting it, lawmakers should think "very carefully" about the potentially huge implications for the economy, jobs and future prosperity.

Ireland, which currently holds the EU rotating presidency, will begin talks with the Parliament with a view to resolving differences and getting it passed, he said.

EU leaders finally agreed Friday a three percent cut in the 2014-20 budget after sharp differences over the need to rein in spending during a time of austerity in most home countries.

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