Spinelli's chicken

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Calling for an increase of the EU budget in a time of austerity is a very difficult task that Europe is facing today. However, what Europe needs at the moment is to invest in growth in order to challenge the problems of declining competitiveness, rising unemployment and poverty.

Failure to agree on the budget would mean rolling over the 2013 budget into 2014 with a 2% inflation adjustment, amid uncertainty over long-term EU projects such as the Europe 2020 Strategy.

We should firmly reject UK’s proposal of slashing at least six billion euro (£4.8bn) off its staff costs at a stroke by upping retirement ages, lowering pensions and trimming lavish salaries.

Today the key priority shall remain that of fostering growth and employment. Cutting the budget is not therefore the way forward to sustainable growth and competitiveness.