Britain proposes EU budget cuts

Britain, which now holds the rotating EU presidency, is set to propose cuts to the union's 2007-2013 budget proposed by the previous presidency. Britain is expected to suggest slashing the proposed EU budget by three percent in part by lowering regional aid to newcomers like the Czech Republic and rural development funds to several old member states. Prime Minister Tony Blair is due to meet central and east European leaders on a trip to Estonia and Hungary on Thursday and Friday, and the proposed cuts are certain to top the agenda. The Czech Prime Minister, Jiri Paroubek, appealed to Blair in a letter on Monday to reconsider the matter.