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EU: State, Parliament end quarrel over use of antitrust fines

 |  December 10, 2014

EU member states and the European parliament have reportedly reached an agreement on a 2015 budget, ending a quarrel that centered around the use of antitrust fines.

Parliament had earlier proposed using funds from antitrust sanctions to pay off bills, but member states rejected the proposal. Now, Parliament released a statement announcing a resolution.

”Parliament’s negotiators agreed to the 2015 budget on condition that the [European] Commission presents a plan to reduce the amount of the unpaid bills to a sustainable level by 2016.”

The budget was set at 141.2 billion Euro in spending next year, reports say, and the budget must now be finalized.

While reports did not say exactly what agreement the two sides reached for the future of those antitrust fines, Parliament did not ignore the conflict. French MEP and chair of Parliament’s budget committee Jean Arthuis said in a statement that “the winding down of a pile of unpaid bills has been Parliament’s quintessential goal…We know member states’ difficulties, but it was the member states themselves which agreed to enter into contracts that need to be paid. The bills of the EU are also part of their debt.”

Parliament is set to vote on approval of the budget December 15-187.

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