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European Community (Council Of Finance Ministers)

Volume 983: debated on Thursday 24 April 1980

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement about the meeting of the European Community Finance Council in Luxembourg on 21 April.

The Finance Council met, with the Italian Finance Minister in the chair.The Council prepared the ground in certain respects for the forthcoming European Council. There was no discussion of the size of the settlement of the United Kingdom's budget problem. There was, however, general agreement on the nature of the measures needed to reduce our net contribution to the Community budget. There were differences of view over the duration of the measures. I argued that they should last long enough for the Community to tackle the underlying cause of the United Kingdom's problem by reducing the share of Community spending devoted to price support expenditure under the common agricultural policy, and thus to prevent a recurrence of the problem when they expired.The Council also heard a statement from the chairman of the monetary committee on the proposed IMF substitution account and approved the text of a statement which the Presidency will make on the Community's behalf at the meeting of the IMF interim committee in Hamburg later this week.Ministers examined the Commission's proposals for a second tranche of the Ortoli loan facility and for expanding the scope of the facility. They asked officials to continue work on the subject and to bring it back to the Council at an early date.The Council agreed a common Community line for the forthcoming review of the OECD consensus on export credits.