Pope Francis Warns Catholics in Morocco Not to Convert Muslims to Christianity

Head of Catholic Church issues warning to his Moroccan followers against proselytism 

By: Jay Greenberg  |@NeonNettle on 3rd April 2019 @ 12.00am

Pope Francis warned Catholics in Morocco not to attempt to convert Muslims to Christianity, as he addressed a large crowd of his Moroccan flock on Sunday.

The head of the Catholic Church issued the warning during an address at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rabat, Morocco before roughly 400 Christian followers.

During the speech, in which the pope also discussed the rights of migrants and promoted open borders, the pope urged Christians to unite with Muslims, before he warned: “Please, no proselytism!”Trying to convert people to Christianity “always leads to an impasse,” said the head of the 1.3 billion-member church, as reported by Agence France-Presse.

In Morocco, there are currently around 30,000 Catholics and 10,000 Protestants in Morocco and they make up less than 1% of the population there, where the majority of citizens follow Sunni Islam.

Following his official visit to the Islamic North African state, Pope Francis blasted nationalism and likened populists to Hitler as he pushed for open borders.

The head of the Catholic church blasted the rise of populism in Western countries, claiming the movement gains followers by stoking fear in the same way as the Nazis did in the 1930s.

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The pope warned his followers not to convert Muslims to Christianity, urging them to unite with them instead In a joint declaration on Sunday, Pope Francis and Morocco’s King Mohammed VI signed the “Jerusalem Pact” which they described as a “symbol of peaceful coexistence” for Christians, Jews, and Muslims, according to DW.

Jerusalem was “common patrimony of humanity and especially the followers of three monotheistic religions,” an official statement read.

“The specific multi-religious character, the spiritual dimension and the particular cultural identity of Jerusalem … must be protected and promoted,” the statement added.

The spiritual leader of the world’s Catholics was in Morocco to promote interreligious dialogue.

It was the first visit to Morocco by a pope in 34 years. King Mohammed VI is head of a committee created by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to protect and promote Jerusalem’s religious, cultural and architectural heritage.

Last year, US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, causing anger across the Muslim world, especially from Palestinians that see the city as the capital of their future state.

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Pope Francis met with Moroccan King Mohammed VI to promote inter-religious dialogue

“The Church grows not through proselytism but by attraction,” Francis said, according to Reuters.

“This means, dear friends, that our mission as baptized persons, priests and consecrated men and women, is not really determined by the number or size of spaces that we occupy, but rather by our capacity to generate change and to awaken wonder and compassion.

“Pope Francis has used his two-day trip to push inter-faith dialogue with Islamic leaders.He has also backed Moroccan King Mohammed VI’s efforts to spread a form of Islam that promotes inter-religious dialogue and rejects violence in God’s name.

“[T]he Pope also stressed the need for inter-religious dialogue, saying people should resist ‘classifying ourselves according to different moral, social, ethnic or religious criteria,'” reported Reuters.

The U.S. State Department reports, “According to [Morocco’s] constitution, the country is a Muslim state, with full sovereignty, and Islam is the religion of the state. … “The law penalizes anyone who ’employs enticements to undermine the faith’ or convert a Muslim to another faith and provides punishments of six months to three years’ imprisonment and a fine of 200 to 500 dirhams ($21 to $53).

“It also provides the right to a court trial for anyone accused of such an offense.””Voluntary conversion is not a crime under the law,” according to the State Department.”Sunni Muslims and Jews are the only religious groups recognized in the constitution as native to the country; other faiths are viewed as foreign” in Morrocco, reported the State Department.

“Many foreign-resident Christian churches are registered as associations. Registered foreign-resident churches include the Roman Catholic, Russian Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, Protestant, and Anglican Churches, which maintain different forms of official status.” (Click to Source)

 

 

5 Ways the Green New Deal Exactly Mirrors Agenda 2030

The Green New Deal, submitted by new US Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is more like a green fantasy wish-list than a political bill. This so-called Green New Deal, which can be read here, promotes a broad, utopian-like future where magically everyone gets all their energy from non-polluting sources, everyone has a high-paying job with paid vacation, everyone has high-quality health care and everyone has retirement security. Not surprisingly, it does not spell out how the USG (United States Government) and its taxpayers are supposed to pay for all this. Even the name “Green New Deal” contains the phrase “New Deal” which refers to the sweeping socialistic changes to US law and society made in the 1930s by then US President Roosevelt, which included starting the Social Security Administration, confiscating the gold of Americans and substantially expanding the power and jurisdiction of the Federal Government.

Green New Deal = Agenda 2030

Ocasio-Cortez is just a naive poster woman for a sinister agenda about which she is ultimately clueless. She has been given an undue and exorbitant amount of media attention for a freshman congresswoman (just 1 congresswomen out of 435), not because she’s intelligent or unique, but because the people really pushing this agenda own the MSM and can dictate what the public focus on. The truth is that the Green New Deal is just another incarnation of a far-reaching plan to bring about a One World Government via the UN (United Nations) Agenda 2030 (formerly Agenda 21). This Global Governance as they like to call it is planned to be a worldwide totalitarian socialist dictatorship; there is nothing utopian about it. Below are 5 ways in which the Green New Deal very closely mimics the wording, aims and targets of Agenda 2030.

Similarity #1: Green New Deal Aims at Changes Being Done by 2030

Agenda 21 was replaced by Agenda 2030, so-called because it contained a list of 17 goals and 169 targets that were to be achieved by the year 2030. Interestingly enough, the Green New Deal also aims at achieving its objectives by this date as stated in the US Green Party’s summary of it:

“The Green New Deal starts with a WWII-type mobilization to address the grave threat posed by climate change, transitioning our country to 100% clean energy by 2030 … The centerpiece of the Green New Deal is a transition to 100% clean energy by 2030.”

Similarity #2: Sustainable Energy for All

The Green New Deal states that it is the “duty” of the Federal Government to meet “100 percent of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources.” Goal 7 of Agenda 2030 states: “Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.”Sustainable energy for all – sounds great. Who’s going to pay for it? What are we going to have to give up to get it? Privacy? Autonomy? Can we only get this new sustainable energy if we move house into an “approved” area (i.e. a Smart City Megalopolis) and submit to being on the grid 24/7 with Smart Meters radiating us? Who granted the US or UN the authority and jurisdiction to “care” for all their citizens like this? The more we allow these governing bodies to take responsibility for an aspect of life, the more power they assume.

Similarity #3: Climate Change is a Threat

The Green New Deal states (pg. 4) that “climate change constitutes a direct threat to the national security of the United States.” Goal 13 of Agenda 2030 is to “take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.” Notice the term keeps changing from “manmade global warming” to “manmade climate change” to simply “climate change” to continue the charade. Of course the climate is changing; it always has and it always will. Most skeptics of AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming) readily admit the climate changes. The question is how much humanity is causing it. The point is also that it cannot scientifically be due to the minuscule amounts of CO2 humanity emits. Note how both the Green New Deal and Agenda 2030 make sure to get the propaganda in that we must rally around saving the environment (and submit to a NWO [New World Order] in the process as a side effect). The Green New Deal spares no exaggeration by saying that climate change (a rise of 2ºC) will cause “mass migration from the regions most affected by climate change” and cost the US “$500 billion in lost annual economic output by the year 2100.” It also blames climate change for “wildfires that, by 2050, will annually burn at least twice as much forest area in the western United States than was typically burned by wildfires in the years preceding 2019” however the real reason for those lies elsewhere.

Similarity #4: Millions of Magical High-Paying Jobs

The Green New Deal proposes “(1) to create millions of good, high-wage jobs in the United States; (2) to provide unprecedented levels of prosperity and economic security for all people of the United States” while in Goal 8, Agenda 2030 wants to “promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.” Sounds great as always, but how? Who is going to organize and enforce all this? More government? You betcha.

Similarity #5: Central Planning

For me, the word “mobilization” creepily and eerily denotes some kind of central, military-like authority with the power to mobilize citizens like troops, treat people like human resources, order them around and put them to work on whatever projects it sees fits – all the for “greater good” of the collective. As the article The Green New Deal Plus Modern Monetary Theory = Socialism states:

“The GND essentially calls for conscripting the American workforce and putting us to work in accordance with what the elite government planners want instead of what “we, the people” want. They propose to replace our market economy, in which privately owned businesses compete to see who can best supply the needs and wants of the people, with a command economy in which government is the master and citizens build what the planners say must be built.”

Conclusion: Green New Deal Sure Smells Like Agenda 2030

The Green New Deal, no matter how well intentioned, is a rehash of an old plan to use threats to the environment (real or imagined) as a way to get people to rally behind a NWO. The Green New Deal is bogged down by total impracticality and scientific illiteracy – in one section it states that its goal is to “remov(e) greenhouse gases from the atmosphere” (pg.9)! This is absurd as these gases are part of the natural water cycle, and also a precondition of human life on Earth, i.e. plants need CO2 for photosynthesis so they can provide oxygen for animals like humans. It’s funny how at every step of the way the solution is always more government. That truth alone is hopefully enough for people to wake up to this monstrosity and see it for it truly is, despite the sugar coating and glossy veneer. (Click to Source)

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Makia Freeman is the editor of alternative media / independent news site The Freedom Articles and senior researcher at ToolsForFreedom.com, writing on many aspects of truth and freedom, from exposing aspects of the worldwide conspiracy to suggesting solutions for how humanity can create a new system of peace and abundance. Makia is on Steemit and FB.

Sources:

*https://ocasio-cortez.house.gov/sites/ocasio-cortez.house.gov/files/Resolution%20on%20a%20Green%20New%20Deal.pdf

*http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/70/1&Lang=E

*https://www.gp.org/green_new_deal

*http://freedom-articles.toolsforfreedom.com/manmade-co2-output-global-warming-hoax/

*http://freedom-articles.toolsforfreedom.com/dew-laser-weapons-used-against-people/

*https://www.activistpost.com/2019/03/the-green-new-deal-plus-modern-monetary-theory-socialism.html?

 
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Pope Francis: World Government Must Rule U.S. ‘For Their Own Good’

 

Pope Francis told the Italian newspaper La Repubblica that the United States of America has “a distorted vision of the world” and Americans must be ruled by a world government, as soon as possible, “for their own good.”

The Pope made the observation in an interview with La Repubblica reporter Eugenio Scalfari.

Last Thursday, I got a call from Pope Francis,” Scalfari reported. “It was about noon, and I was at the newspaper when my phone rang.”

He said Pope Francis had been watching Putin and Trump at the G20 and had become agitated. The Pope demanded to see him at four that afternoon, according to a Google translation of the Italian report.

Pope Francis told me to be very concerned about the meeting of the G20,” Scalfari wrote.

As translated into English by Agence France Presse, which picked up the story, the Pope said: “I am afraid there are very dangerous alliances between powers who have a distorted view of the world: America and Russia, China and North Korea, Russia and Assad in the war in Syria.”

The danger concerns immigration,” the Pope continued to La Repubblica. “Our main and unfortunately growing problem in the world today is that of the poor, the weak, the excluded, which includes migrants.

This is why the G20 worries me: It mainly hits immigrants,” Pope Francis said, according to AFP.

Pope Francis’s idea that Americans would be better off under a world government doesn’t stop there. The radical leftist pontiff also went on record stating that Europe should become one country under one government.

In the same interview, according to La Repubblica, Pope Francis said that Europe must take on a “federal structure,” resembling feudal times when the peasants were ruled by unimpeachable monarchs.

I also thought many times to this problem and came to the conclusion that, not only but also, for this reason, Europe must take as soon as possible a federal structure,” the Pope said, according to the Google translation of the La Repubblica article. (Click to Source)

Reported by: Explainlife.com
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UN agencies rebuke Trump: Abortion always part of sexual health

Stefano Gennarini, J.D.

 

NEWS – ABORTION, POLITICS – WORLD – 

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July 20, 2018 (C-Fam) – UN agencies are working with abortion groups to make abortion part of sexual and reproductive health policies and programming everywhere and for all, in opposition to U.S. President Donald Trump’s pro-life efforts and the consensus of the UN General Assembly.

In a Lancet article provocatively titled “Defining sexual and reproductive health and rights for all,” the head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and the head of the UN Population Fund, Natalia Kanem, gave a full-throated endorsement of a Lancet-Guttmacher report that promotes abortion and homosexual rights under the rubric of “sexual and reproductive health and rights.”

The article by Ghebreyesus and Kanem shows UN agencies are willing to promote abortion alongside the abortion industry, and on the terms set by the abortion industry. It is a direct challenge to congressional and executive U.S. funding restrictions on abortion, as well as the pro-life foreign policy of the Trump administration.

Just the title of the article is intended to close any debate about what sexual and reproductive health might include. According to the Lancet report, it includes abortion, transgender hormone therapy, surrogacy and other artificial reproductive technologies.

This flies in the face of the notion that every country may legislate on abortion as it sees fit, as the General Assembly agreed at the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development held in Cairo.

Few member states would have accepted the inclusion of abortion in UN policy at all in 1994, if not for such an ambiguous definition of “sexual and reproductive health.” In fact, UN agencies like the UN Population Fund have often told member states that each country can define the terms as they prefer. In an about-face, they are now saying the term was never up for member states to define.

While the 1994 agreement included abortion in its definition of sexual and reproductive health, it does not consider it to be an international reproductive right, thereby allowing governments to take different positions on abortion. In fact, the agreement casts abortion in a negative light.

According to the Cairo Platform for Action, governments must help women avoid abortion and must not promote abortion. The agreement states that abortion is a subject to be dealt with exclusively in national legislation without the interference of international agencies. And it presumes that countries will opt to outlaw abortion in most or all circumstances and that only “where legal, it should be made safe.”

In recent UN negotiations, the U.S. delegation vigorously defended this framework and has insisted on preserving it. While ambiguous, and even esoteric to some, this framework has stopped the development of an international right to abortion and denies UN agencies a mandate to promote access to abortion and changes in abortion laws.

Campaigners for an international right to abortion have tried in many ways to move beyond the Cairo document. Abortion groups and UN agencies have exploited the ambiguity surrounding abortion in the Cairo agreement to promote the notion of “safe abortion” for many years, but in recent years, they have ramped up their advocacy for abortion. (Click to Source)

Published with permission from C-Fam.

CBD logo

Pope Francis: World Government Must Rule U.S. ‘For Their Own Good’

 

This guy is a Globalist and will help bring in the Anti Christ. He is no believer of Yeshua- Jesus the Messiah.1-50

Pope Francis told the Italian newspaper La Repubblica that the United States of America has “a distorted vision of the world” and Americans must be ruled by a world government, as soon as possible, “for their own good.”

The Pope made the observation in an interview with La Repubblica reporter Eugenio Scalfari.

 “Last Thursday, I got a call from Pope Francis,” Scalfari reported. “It was about noon, and I was at the newspaper when my phone rang.”

 

He said Pope Francis had been watching Putin and Trump at the G20 and had become agitated. The Pope demanded to see him at four that afternoon, according to a Google translation of the Italian report.

“Pope Francis told me to be very concerned about the meeting of the G20,” Scalfari wrote.

As translated into English by Agence France Presse, which picked up the story, the Pope said “I am afraid there are very dangerous alliances between powers who have a distorted view of the world: America and Russia, China and North Korea, Russia and Assad in the war in Syria.”

“The danger concerns immigration,” the Pope continued to La Repubblica. “Our main and unfortunately growing problem in the world today is that of the poor, the weak, the excluded, which includes migrants.”

“This is why the G20 worries me: It mainly hits immigrants,” Pope Francis said, according to AFP.    (Click to Source)

Prediction Made Nearly 30 Years Ago Coming True Before Our Eyes – With ‘Chickens Coming Home To Roost’, We May Be ‘Counting Down The Minutes Until Everything Changes’

– ‘This Could Very Well Be The Way They Try To Usher In Their One World Currency!’

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By Stefan Stanford – All News Pipeline – Live Free Or Die

In this December 31st of 2014 story from CNBC they begin: “If the future plays out like BNY Mellon’s chief economist expects, 2018 is going to be a year for the history books.” Warning within their story that 2018 will be the year “a number of chickens come home to roost”,they also reported then:

“I’m worried about 2018. I think by that time everything will all come due. We’ll have wage inflation. The Fed will have to tighten hard,” Richard Hoey told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” “I’m not worried about 2015. I’m not worried about 2016, not too much about 2017. I think the bill comes due in 2018, but that’s too far in the future to worry about now.”

While 2018 must have seen like ‘forever away’ back in 2014, the year is now on our doorstep at only 174 days away as of this story writingand while we can see that some of “the chickens are coming home to roost”, as we read in this new story over at Zero Hedge, 2018 could be the year everything changes according to a prediction made nearly 30 years ago by the 1%.

As ANP readers know, while we try to avoid at all costs putting future dates on ‘possible events’ that are out of control, the year 2018 was selected 30 years ago by ‘elitist globalists’ and their mouthpiece, The Economist Magazine, to be the year that a global currency came in to global usage as also heard in the 1st video below.

Showing on their January 9th of 1988 magazine cover the mythical ‘Phoenix’ rising from the ashes of burning paper currency including US dollars, they warned in their 1988 story of a coming “disruption to economic life” while titling their foreshadowing story: “Get Ready For The Phoenix”.

What do the globalists know that we don’t know? From their 1988 cover story:

THIRTY years from now, Americans, Japanese, Europeans, and people in many other rich countries, and some relatively poor ones will probably be paying for their shopping with the same currency. Prices will be quoted not in dollars, yen or D-marks but in, let’s say, the phoenix. Te phoenix will be favoured by companies and shoppers because it will be more convenient than today’s national currencies, which by then will seem a quaint cause of much disruption to economic life in the last twentieth century. (Click to Site)

UN General Assembly votes in favor of Palestinian statehood

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The U.N. General Assembly voted Thursday in favor of Palestinian statehood, after the Palestinians asked it to recognize a non-member state of Palestine in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and east Jerusalem, and the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

The resolution upgrading the Palestinians’ status to a nonmember observer state at the United Nations was approved by a more than two-thirds majority of the 193-member world body — a vote of 138 to 9, with the U.S. and Israel among those who opposed. There were 41 abstentions.

Real independence, however, remains an elusive dream until the Palestinians negotiate a peace deal with the Israelis, who warned that the General Assembly action will only delay a lasting solution. Israel still controls the West Bank, east Jerusalem and access to Gaza, and it accused the Palestinians of bypassing negotiations with the campaign to upgrade their U.N. status.

The United States immediately criticized the historic vote. “Today’s unfortunate and counterproductive resolution places further obstacles in the path peace,” U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice said.

And U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called the vote “unfortunate” and “counterproductive.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the speech by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to the General Assembly shortly before the vote “defamatory and venomous,” saying it was “full of mendacious propaganda” against Israel.

Abbas had told the General Assembly that it was “being asked today to issue the birth certificate of Palestine.” Abbas said the vote is the last chance to save the two-state solution.

After the vote, Netanyahu said the UN move violated past agreements between Israel and the Palestinians and that Israel would act accordingly, without elaborating what steps it might take.

Just before the vote, Israel’s U.N. ambassador, Ron Prosor, warned the General Assembly that “the Palestinians are turning their backs on peace” and that the U.N. can’t break the 4,000-year-old bond between the people of Israel and the land of Israel.

The vote had been certain to succeed, with most of the member states sympathetic to the Palestinians. Several key countries, including France, this week announced they would support the move to elevate the Palestinians from the status of U.N. observer to nonmember observer state.

Thursday’s vote came on the same day, Nov. 29, that the U.N. General Assembly in 1947 voted to recognize a state in Palestine, with the jubilant revelers then Jews. The Palestinians rejected that partition plan, and decades of tension and violence have followed.

The vote grants Abbas an overwhelming international endorsement for his key position: establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem, the territories captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war. With Netanyahu opposed to a pullback to the 1967 lines, this should strengthen Abbas’ hand if peace talks resume.

The overwhelming vote also could help Abbas restore some of his standing, which has been eroded by years of standstill in peace efforts. His rival, Hamas, deeply entrenched in Gaza, has seen its popularity rise after an Israeli offensive on targets linked to the Islamic militant group there earlier this month.

Israel has stepped back from initial threats of harsh retaliation for the Palestinians seeking U.N. recognition, but government officials warned that Israel would respond to any Palestinian attempts to use the upgraded status to confront Israel in international bodies.

The Palestinians now can gain access to U.N. agencies and international bodies, most significantly the International Criminal Court, which could become a springboard for going after Israel for alleged war crimes or its ongoing settlement building on war-won land.

However, in the run-up to the U.N. vote, Abbas signaled that he wants recognition to give him leverage in future talks with Israel, and not as a tool for confronting or delegitimizing Israel, as Israeli leaders have alleged.

Click to article

 

Is Egypt about to become the new Iran?

It is not only the anti-government protesters in Egypt’s Tahrir Square who should be concerned about President Mohammed Morsi’s audacious power grab. Mr Morsi’s claim at the weekend that “God’s will and elections made me the captain of this ship” has echoes of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s claim during the 1979 Iranian revolution that his mission to overthrow the Shah enjoyed divine guidance.

Since his announcement that he was granting himself sweeping new powers, Mr Morsi has been trying to reassure sceptical Egyptian voters that he has no ambition to become Egypt’s new Pharaoh. But you only have to look at the violent scenes that have once again erupted in Tahrir Square to see that the majority of Egyptians remain unconvinced.

When Egyptian demonstrators first occupied Tahrir Square last year to call for the overthrow of Mr Morsi’s predecessor, President Hosni Mubarak, they were calling for a secular, democratic system of government that would represent the interests of all Egyptians, and not just the corrupt clique of presidential supporters. Similar sentiments were expressed by Iranian demonstrators during the build-up to the Shah’s overthrow in February 1979 as they sought to remove a similarly corrupt regime.

But as we now know to our cost, the worthy aspirations of the Iranian masses were hijacked by Khomeini’s hardline Islamist agenda, and within months of the Shah’s overthrow Iran had been transformed into an Islamic republic.

Mr Morsi says he has no desire to become a dictator, but his announcement that, henceforth, all presidential decrees will be immune from legal challenge does not bode well for Egypt’s transition from military dictatorship to democracy.

I am sure I am not the only one wondering whether Mr Morsi is about to become the new Ayatollah Khomeini.

Certainly, unless Mr Morsi backs down, all those who sacrificed their lives in the cause of the Egyptian revolution will have died in vain.

Click to article

EU Budget Summit Fails in Echo of Debt-Crisis Stalemate

European Union leaders failed to agree on the 27 nation bloc’s next seven-year budget, replaying the clash between rich and poor countries that has stymied the response to the euro debt crisis.

National chiefs plan another summit early next year, when northern countries including Britain and Germany may have the upper hand in seeking to cut subsidies to lesser-developed southern and eastern economies clamoring for EU investment.

“Anything short of admitting that our talks have been extraordinarily complex and difficult would not reflect reality,”Jose Barroso, head of the European Commission, which manages the subsidy programs, told reporters after a two-day meeting in Brussels.

Britain’s defense of its cash-back guarantee and France’s clinging to farm aid gave the summit the flavor of EU negotiations in the 1970s or 1980s, diluting efforts to equipEurope with a budget to make it more competitive. Eastern and southern countries said reduced financing for public-works projects would condemn them to lag behind the wealthier north.

The euro rose to $1.2977 at 7 p.m. in Brussels from $1.2880 late yesterday. The Euro Stoxx 50 index rose 0.9 percent to 2,557.03.

In the EU’s last budget round, it took two summits, in June and December 2005, to strike a bargain. No date was set for the next negotiations. In the absence of an accord by late 2013, the EU would roll over its annual budget.

One Percent

At stake is a spending plan for the years 2014-2020 that would total about 1 percent of EU-wide gross domestic product. While that sum is paltry compared to the average 50 percent of GDP that each country spends inside its borders, the political resonance is far larger.

Wealthier countries such as Germany, the U.K., Denmark,Sweden and the Netherlands banded together to cut what they pay to the collective pool, pounding away at the original proposal of 1.033 trillion euros ($1.3 trillion) that came out in mid-2011.

Germany has led a bloc demanding austerity in Greece and three other bailed-out euro countries in exchange for rescue aid.

By the time the leaders convened yesterday, the figure on the table was 973 billion euros. It was soon trimmed to 971 billion euros, still too much for financially stronger countries that pressed for another 30 billion euros in cuts.

“For the upcoming weeks and months, my feeling is that we can go further, but it takes some preparatory work and it has to be balanced,” EU President Herman Van Rompuy, said.

Cameron’s Rebate

The alliance of spending cutters unraveled, when it came to the financing side of the budget. While U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron defended a rebate won by Margaret Thatcher in 1984, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden sought better terms for their own refunds and Denmark made a bid to join the money- back club.

French President Francois Hollande, for example, paired his farm-aid advocacy with calls for savings elsewhere, since France is among the 11 countries that pay more into the EU budget than they get out. As a result, agriculture was the relative winner as the leaders strengthened some budget lines and pared others.

The latest proposal added 8 billion euros back to the farm budget, taking it to 372 billion euros. Cuts elsewhere left infrastructure at 460 billion euros and immigration and border control at 17 billion euros. The biggest cuts came in foreign policy, down by 5 billion euros to 60.7 billion euros. The proposal left staff costs untouched at 62.6 billion euros.

Hollande’s Check

Taking aim at Cameron’s rebate, Hollande said: “France pays more than Britain; I could ask him for a check.”

For Britain, the summit was about more than euros and cents, testing Britain’s EU influence at a time of mounting pressure for a national referendum on whether to stay in the bloc.

Demanding spending cuts at home, Cameron made a special target of the 50,000 civil servants at EU institutions ranging from the commission and European Parliament, to the Court of Justice and agencies that regulate sectors from fishing to medicines.

“More than 200 Brussels staff earn more than I do,” Cameron said. “Brussels continues to exist as if it’s in a parallel universe.”

Aid Multipliers

Led by Poland, defenders of EU financing pointed out that spending at the European level goes further than money that stays within national borders, since EU subsidies back international projects like pipelines, bridges and airports.

European Parliament President Martin Schulz countered the wealthier countries’ insistence on paying less with the contention that it is cheaper for them to promote European projects, since contracts in Latvia or Slovenia go to companies in places like Germany and Sweden.

“Every euro invested by the EU attracts an average of between 2 and 4 euros in additional investment,” Schulz said. “The EU budget is not a zero-sum game in which one country wins what another loses. Synergies are generated which benefit the net contributors as well.”

Click to article

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