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updated: 2/6/2013 7:24 AM

EU summit to debate austerity budget, tough cuts

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Associated Press

STRASBOURG, France -- 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."

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Britain is leading several wealthy northern member states in calling for greater austerity in the 2014-2020 EU budget, which will amount to about (euro) 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.

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