Monday, July 12, 2004

Another dubious ally?

Eurosceptics who were applauding "plucky Poland" when it crashed the summit last December, may have cause to re-think their view.

Polish foreign minister Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz, during a meeting with his EU counterparts today in Brussels, added his weight to the calls to remove the UK's budget rebate.

"We do not want to make life harder for British taxpayers", he said, "but on the other hand our feelings are ambivalent when we think that poor Polish taxpayers must fill the gap in the EU budget resulting from the British rebate".

On Wednesday, the Commission is due to unveil its much-leaked proposals for dispensing with the UK rebate, adopting the alternative strategy of "rebates for all".

With Poland weighing-in with its support, Blair is going to find it that much harder to resist the pressure for change.

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