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President Komorowski says EU budget stalemate “no tragedy”

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 24.11.2012 16:01
President of Poland Bronislaw Komorowski has said that although the failure to make a deal on the EU budget for 2014-20 is “not a good signal” it is “no tragedy” nonetheless.

President Komorowski in Riga: photo - PAP/Leszek Szymanski

The president commented on yesterday's stalemate to Polish journalists in Riga, where he and First Lady Anna Komorowska are completing a two-day state visit.

“Of course, this does not send off a good signal within the EU, nor is it a good signal about the EU in the wider world, but there is no tragedy,” he said, as cited by the Polish Press Agency (PAP).

Talks broke down in Brussels on Friday with EU member states postponing the final budgetary decision concerning the 2014-2020 period until a second summit in January 2013.

Poland was fighting to cling on to cohesion funds (beneficiaries of which are principally former communist bloc countries), in the face of calls for austerity led by Germany and the UK.

Komorowski stressed that on his own behalf, as head of state he would continue in his bids to forge alliances.

“I'm trying to be effective in gaining friends, those that understand the needs of Poland, and I think it's paying off,” he said, citing France's backing of Polish goals.

President Francois Hollande was a guest in Poland earlier this month.

Former Soviet republic Latvia is itself one of the 15-member group of friends of cohesion policy.

“We are working together, and we hope that this alliance in a matter important for both Poland and Latvia will it's probation period,” he said.

Minister insists Polish funds intact

Echoing Prime Minister Donald Tusk's words on Friday, Minister of European Affairs Piotr Serafin insisted that Poland's cohesion and agricultural funding would not be cut.

“We have promises that there will not be further cuts in agricultural and cohesion funds,” Serafin affirmed on Saturday in an interview with RMF FM.

“There has been a spoken declaration and written proposals,” he added.

Serafin noted that if cuts did occur, they would be in the spheres of innovation and research.

As to whether negotiators would keep their word, Serafin could only allude to a code of honour.

“I hope that the EU is still a gentleman's club,” he said. (nh)

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