If the European Union refuses to give Denmark its DKK1billion rebate, Denmark will veto the EU budget, Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt told the parliamentary Europe Committee today.
In an unusually frank statement, Thorning-Schmidt made it abundantly clear that if the EU has hopes of passing its budget for the next seven years, Danish contributions to the Union will have to be reduced.
“We must be given our rebate. If we don’t get our rebate, we will use our veto. Very simple,” the prime minister said.
All 27 EU countries must vote in favour of the EU budget if it is to be passed.
Although Denmark has been convinced that it would receive the DKK1billion rebate it is demanding, Eurozone developments in recent weeks have made the EU’s position less of a certainty.
The prime minister’s statement Thursday came in the wake of another warning to the EU a month ago when Europe Minister Nicolai Wammen said the rebate was ‘a red line’ for Denmark, reminding the EU that all 27 countries must vote for the 7-year budget.
The prime minister’s unequivocal statement comes as the Cyprus Presidency is currently putting the final touches to the 2014-2020 budgets. It also comes as EU president Herman van Rompuy is in London negotiating with Britain, which has also threatened a veto.
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Edited by Julian Isherwood