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Netherlands wants more time for extra EU payments

Staff writer ▼ | October 30, 2014
The Netherlands called on Brussels to give European Union countries extra time to make additional payments to the EU's budget.
Jeroen Dijsselbloem
December is too close   The EU must show some flexibility
Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem called on the European Commission, the bloc's executive arm, to give countries more breathing room if they can't make the December 1 deadline.

"We only have one month left to transfer the money. I think member states should be allowed to postpone payments," he said in an interview on Dutch television. "The commission must show some flexibility."

The Netherlands, the U.K. and other EU countries are facing large payments because of one-time charges or revised economic calculations. The request for more money has caused an outcry in the U.K., which faces the largest bill, at EUR2.1 billion ($2.67 billion). The Netherlands must pay EUR642 million.

EU budget chief Jacek Dominik said that under current budget rules it would be impossible to win extra time to make the additional payment. For that to happen, EU budget legislation would need to be amended, which would require the backing of a special majority of member states, he said.