EU Parliament approves 2015 budget

EU Parliament approves 2015 budget

Wed Dec 17, 2014 5:0PM GMT

The European Parliament has adopted the EU budget for next year that sets aside 141.2 billion euros (USD 175.8 billion) in payments.

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) approved the European Union’s 2015 spending plan with 443 votes for, 250 against and 43 abstentions in the French city of Strasbourg on Wednesday.

The budget contains eight billion euros in seed money to help launch the European Commission’s 315-billion-euro investment plan designed to revive the ailing economy of the 28-nation bloc.

It also requires EU member states to contribute an extra 3.5 billion euros toward settling outstanding bills, drawing in part on fines against companies that breach the EU competition law.

The budget also allows Britain to get extra time to pay a 2.1-billion-euro bill from the EU for 2014.

The annual EU budget is part of the bloc’s seven-year spending plans, which have fixed its total expenditure at 960 billion euros for 2014-2020.

Europe plunged into financial crisis in early 2008. Countries such as Greece, Portugal, Italy, Ireland, and Spain have been hit worst.

The debt crisis has forced the EU governments to adopt harsh austerity measures and tough economic reforms, which have triggered incidents of social unrest and massive protests in many European countries.

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