Ilves in Paris: France, Estonia on Same Page (1)
Rahvusvahelised uudised 08 Jan 2013  EWR
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ERR News
Surprisingly, a consensus has prevailed over France and Estonia, President Toomas Hendrik Ilves told reporters yesterday after meeting French president Francois Hollande at Elysee Palace.

The future of the European Union, solidarity between states and readiness to compromise were topics covered in the hour long meeting between the two presidents, reported ETV.

“If you look at the popularity of the European Union, the positive attitude towards the union, you will find that in Estonia and France it is at a high level. Many believe in the Euro, in the survival of the Eurozone. Even though we are not used to seeing eye to eye, lately it has become apparent that Estonia and France both look more favorably towards the union,” Ilves said.

Commenting on the debate over the EU's seven-year budget, Ilves said that if everyone pulls the blanket to their side, we will be stuck with no solution. There is a line where austerity turns counterproductive and begins to hinder achieving greater goals.

President Hollande preached a similar logic at the last meeting of the European Council.

“An imperative search for allies is taking place at present in regards to finding an agreement on the seven-year budget,” added Ilves.
Ilves said he raised two topics with Hollande: the "dire" situation of EU's agricultural subsidies to Estonia, which Hollande understood, and the 10 billion euros earmarked for the integration of EU transport infrastructure.

Both Presidents expressed hope that the new budget will be approved at the beginning of the current year.
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