Göran Persson arrives at the EU summit

Persson: EU Budget Talks "Blunt"

Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson said Thursday that huge differences remain over the European Union budget.

Speaking to journalists in Brussels during the two day EU summit, Persson described the discussions as blunt, and said there was only a “50-50” chance of a deal. The Swedish Prime Minister says everyone understands the importance of agreeing on a budget for the 2007-2013 period.

The obstacles reportedly include Britain’s unwillingness to surrender its rebate, and the refusal of France and some other countries to accept reductions in the union’s farm subsidy program.

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