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Article updated: 2/7/2013 7:31 AM

EU leaders brace for long budget summit

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By Associated Press

BRUSSELS -- European Union leaders were preparing for all-night negotiations in Brussels on a joint budget for the next seven years.

Britain is leading several northern nations looking for cuts while southern and eastern nations want continued funding to reduce the wealth gap among the bloc's 27 countries.

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Expectations are that the final figure for the seven-year budget will dip tens of billions of euros below the (euro) 1 trillion ($1.35 trillion) mark, a real slash to the budget that British Prime Minister David Cameron argues must reflect austerity spending that individual nations are pursuing at home.

Poland is expected to lead the group seeking continued support for the poorer member states, especially those that have already been hit hard by the financial crisis.

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