BRUSSELS - European Union governments will debate a cut of at least 50 billion euros this week as the starting point for negotiations on the bloc's proposed 1 trillion-euro ($1.3 trillion) long-term budget, a source familiar with the issue said.
The cut will be proposed in the latest EU negotiating text on the bloc's spending plan for 2014-2020, but is unlikely to be deep enough to satisfy Britain, Germany, France and other net budget contributors.
They want strict limits on EU spending to reflect the austerity imposed by national governments to reduce debt, and called for cuts of 100-200 billion euros to the total proposed by the EU's executive, the European Commission.
The proposal is also likely to anger Poland and other former communist EU countries who are the major beneficiaries of EU funds, and oppose any cuts to the Commission's blueprint which they argue is vital for their future economic growth.
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