Premier Mario Monti said that the positions of Italy and Britain on the 2014-2020 European Union budget "present some points that don't fit perfectly together". "But there are also some points in common," said Monti after a meeting in Rome with British Prime Minister David Cameron. "First among them is that the EU budget must be aimed towards spurring growth and developing competitiveness". Cameron, who has threatened to veto any above-inflation rise in the European Union's 2014-2020 budget, is seeking to gain support for his stance among European partners ahead of a special summit in Brussels later this month. Italy and France issued a joint call last week to abolish the rebate system which grants Britain - and to a lesser extent other countries - a reduction in contributions to the European Union budget.
Cameron said that Europe must "learn to live within its means," repeating his position that the EU budget could "not go up". Monti said that Italy was opposed to a dwindling EU budget.
"We are supporters of a budget aimed towards the future, but we are less inclined towards a consistent reduction of the budget, in view of its efficiency," he said. The European Union "needs a banking union like the one Britain has," the British Prime Minister said. "Great Britain is ready to support initiatives creating banking supervision mechanisms".
Monti said following the meeting with Cameron that he woud like to "take the opportunity to express satisfaction with the final go-ahead for EU funds to be used for work in (earthquake struck) Emilia-Romagna that we have been examining intensively over the last days".
EU finance ministers in Brussels announced following an Ecofin meeting earlier Tuesday that 670 million euros in assistance for parts of Italy that were severely damaged by deadly earthquakes last spring will be released shortly.