Honor Mahony, EUObserver
BRUSSELS - The European Commission on Wednesday (25 April) had an uphill struggle explaining why next year's EU budget needs to go up by 6.8 percent, even as it preaches austerity to member states.
The increase - to €138 billion from €129.1 billion for 2012 - is largely due to promised payments for various projects in member states that are now being called in.
The finer points of the EU's multi-annual budget system - which sees member states make payment promises only to baulk at actually footing the bill further down the line - are being lost on the EU public however, as Brussels becomes increasingly associated with hypocrisy on spending.
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Brussels has tough time justifying bigger budget