(AP) Many European Union leaders will push for a tough austerity budget at their summit this week but the EU parliament insists it is ready to reject a deal which curtails common spending on growth and employment.
On the eve of Thursday's summit, EU President Herman Van Rompuy said that for the first time ever - there will be a real terms cut compared to the current budget.
Britain is leading several wealthy northern member states in calling for greater austerity in the 2014-2020 EU budget, which will amount to about 1 trillion ($1.35 trillion). On the other hand, poorer eastern and southern countries in the 27-nation bloc want to ensure continued EU financial support.
Parliamentary leaders warned they would reject any plan that undermines the role of the EU.