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Denmark turns down EU rebate offer: report

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Denmark has turned down a proposed rebate on its EU budget contribution because it fell short of the one billion kroner (134 million euros, 174 million dollar) demanded by Copenhagen, media reported Wednesday.

"Over the weekend we received an offer from EU President Herman Van Rompuy of a rebate, but it was a few hundred million kroner below the billion we have asked for. That's why we have said no," a source close to the Danish government told daily Politiken.

European Union leaders gather in Brussels Thursday for an extraordinary two-day summit aimed at agreeing the bloc's contested trillion-euro budget for 2014-2020.

But Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt has said she will veto any proposal that doesn't include a Danish rebate.

"The feeling is that it is now inevitable that Denmark will have a discount. But that it just as inevitably will be lower than what Denmark is asking for," a source in the European Commission told the Danish newspaper.

The volume of EU expenditure, at a time of cuts in national budgets against a broad background of debt and recession, is the main issue dividing the 27 EU member states.

Van Rompuy had to call time on a previous bid to settle the issue in November.

Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt told Danish news agency Ritzau Wednesday that the Scandinavian country's rebate had not yet been secured.

"Far from it, and if you think it has, you haven't understood the task that awaits in the coming days," she said.

Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Austria have all negotiated rebates because they felt they were contributing too much to the budget compared with other countries.

nsb/wai

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130206/denmark-turns-down-eu-rebate-offer-report