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British EU Budget Proposal Receives Generally Negative Response

Britain's latest proposal for future European Union spending is receiving a generally negative response on the eve of a key EU summit in Brussels.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso called the British proposal insufficient. French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said it fails to provide an adequate basis for agreement. Polish Prime Minister Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz said his country would veto the draft if it remains as is.

In its latest plan for breaking the budget deadlock, Britain suggested that overall spending increase slightly to more than $1 trillion for the six-year period beginning in 2007.

But Britain, which holds the rotating EU presidency, rejected major cuts in its lucrative EU rebate unless France agrees to consider changes in union farm subsidies.

Britain also suggested a slight increase in aid to the 10 newest EU members, who have strongly opposed any cuts in such assistance.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.