France and the EU

France to get €1b EU rebate as UK to pay more

France to get €1b EU rebate as UK to pay more
France is owed €1 billion by the EU, in contrast to the UK, which has been told to pay €2.1 billion more. Photo: Luc Legay/Flickr
Struggling France is owed a €1billion rebate from Brussels, it was revealed this week. It hasn’t gone down well on the other side of the English Channel where the UK has been told to hand over an extra €2.1billion.

Thanks to France’s beleaguered economy Paris is set to receive a €1billion rebate from Brussels, it was revealed this week.

In contrast, the UK, where the economy is growing faster than elsewhere in the Eurozone, has been told to hand over an extra €2.1 billion to the EU.

It’s a blow for David Cameron as he tries to quell anti-Europe sentiment in his party and is preparing for a showdown with Brussels as he attempts to renegotiate the rules of the EU.

The fact France is to get a rebate and the UK has to stump up more has, predictably, not gone down well in the UK with the right wing Daily Mail newspaper saying it “added insult to injury”.

And the leader of the UK Independence Party Nigel Farage said: "The EU is like a thirsty vampire feasting on UK taxpayers' blood. We need to protect the innocent victims who are us."

Under new budgetary calculations, deficit-laden and struggling France will be owed €1.0 billion ($1.27 billion), a European Commission spokesman said.

Germany, the bloc's most powerful and richest economy, meanwhile gets arebate of €779 million.

The Netherlands is like Britain tapped for more funds, having to pay €300million, spokesman Patrizio Fiorilli added.

The surcharge is based on a revision in the way that the economic output of EU states is calculated dating back to 1995, a figure which includes previously hidden elements such as drugs and prostitution, and the overall economic situation of each country.

"The British economy is growing much faster than the others and the logicis the same as with tax: if someone earns more, they pay more tax," Fiorilli told AFP.

SEE ALSO: France to hand over €1.5 billion to Britain

"Mathematically that means 2.1 billion euros more for 2014 for Britain,more than 300 million for the Netherlands and a billion less for France."

Speaking at a summit of EU leaders in Brussels, outgoing European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso said he was not aware of the payment demanded from Britain.

"It's the first time I have heard about that. I have not been informed so Iwill not comment on the point," he said.

The British economy is recovering well from the slump after the financialcrisis, growing by 3.2 percent in the second quarter of 2014 compared to a year earlier.

In contrast, the European economy is stalling, dragged down by France andnow a slowing Germany.

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