Senior Italian politicians on Tuesday called for EU budget commissioner Gunther Oettinger to resign over an absurd comment in which he voiced the hope that the country's poor economic situation will keep populist parties out of government.
The European Union has clinched a deal on a sharply trimmed 2014 budget after a marathon 16-hour session ending a long dispute over how best to spend taxpayers' money. After decades of growth, next year's EU budget is set to be around 7% lower than this year's at 135.5 billion Euros in contributions by member states.
After lengthy talks in Brussels European leaders have reached an agreement on the budget for 2014-20 with a ceiling of 960 billion Euros, the first time the EU multi-annual budget has been reduced.
European Union looks set for a new round of clashes this week as an extraordinary summit called to agree a long-term trillion-Euro budget heads for an ugly showdown, possibly even failure.