Frustration is mounting as it looks increasingly impossible to reconcile Britain's demand for a spending freeze, so European Union officials have started work on creating a long-term budget without the UK. Both officials and national diplomats have been studying the legal and technical feasibility of devising such a budget ahead of the two-day summit in Brussels this week, reports the Financial Times.
Poland's foreign minister, Radosław Sikorski, writes in today's
edition of the UK's Guardian that “For Britain, the EU is good value
for money”. The UK's demands for cuts to the EU budget are
wrong-headed, and a veto would backfire, he argues. In the Daily
Telegraph, the mayor of London, Boris Johnson, writes that not a
single penny more should be placed in the “EU's begging bowl”. The
demand for a budget increase amid such an abuse of public funds is
outrageous, he writes.
Poland's Rzeczpospolita picks up on a British opinion poll that most
Britons would like to leave the EU.
The Guardian reports on the French battle to succeed Sarkozy as leader of the UMP party which turned into a shambles last night. Jean-François Copé and François Fillon became embroiled in a public slanging match and both men declared themselves the winner in what has been described as the “worst party political mayhem in recent French memory”.
A commentator in the Financial Times writes that if the US president,
Barack Obama, can build ‘strategic trust' with China in the Middle
East, the habit could take hold elsewhere. The headline: “Obama's path
to Xanadu runs via Jerusalem.”
The Dutch daily Trouw writes highly skilled workers continue to shun
Germany, despite the economic crisis.
Jörg Asmussen, the German board member of the European Central Bank, has said that Greece will probably not be able to finance its debt on the financial markets after the current bail-out programme ends in 2014 and that it will therefore need additional aid, writes Kathimerini.
Greece "is ready" for a crucial meeting of eurozone finance ministers in Brussels today, Yannis Stournaras, Greece's finance minister, has said, according to Ta Nea. The ministers are expected to unblock the latest instalment of Greece's bail-out.
Serbs who fled Croatia during the 1990s war should return there, Ante Gotovina, a former Croatian general, tells the Serbian daily Kurir just hours after his acquittal by the UN's Yugoslavia tribunal in The Hague. Gotovina had been convicted to 24 years in prison by the same tribunal last year, the highest-ranking Croatian officer to face charges over wartime abuses against Serbs.
Ahmet Davutoğlu, Turkey's foreign minister, is expected to visit Gaza tomorrow, according to Hurriyet Daily News. Gaza has been reeling from Israeli airstrikes that have killed dozens of civilians in the last few days, in retaliation against rockets fired into Israel. The violence has raised fears of a wider war.
L'Orient-Le Jour, from Beirut, writes that Israeli airstrikes this morning have killed at least ten people, including a child of five years.
President Barack Obama has begun an historic visit to Myanmar, the former Burma, amid hopeful signs of a democratic opening, writes the New York Times.
How dangerous is Huawei? asks Financial Times Deutschland. The paper says that the company is a symbol of China's rise to the industrial elite. But it says that the businesses and politicians in the west fear, what the paper calls, its sinister power.
A commentator in Handelsblatt says that it is not Greece but France that is the eurozones real problem. Echoing this weeks Economist newspaper, the writer claims that the eurozone got distracted by the rescue packages for Greece and the other peripheral countries and missed the French timebomb.