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Danish, French Leaders Say They Oppose EU Budget Rebates

Dec. 5 (Bloomberg) -- French President Francois Hollande and Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt said they both oppose “in principle” European Union members receiving rebates from the 27-country bloc’s budget.

EU budget talks collapsed last month, partly over disputes about the rebate Britain receives. Denmark gets a rebate on its payments toward the U.K., leaving France and Italy as the largest contributors to Britain’s refund.

“I am opposed to all rebates, but as long as Britain receives one, Denmark is entitled to ask for one,” Hollande told reporters in Paris today after meeting Thorning-Schmidt. “I don’t think it’s a good way to organize a budget.”

Thorning-Schmidt said that in a “perfect world” there would be no rebates, “but it’s not fair that for every four euros spent by our taxpayers, citizens of another rich country pay only three.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Gregory Viscusi in Paris at gviscusi@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net

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