A later tweet from Reynders regretted that budget meetings had gotten off to a bad start. Herman van Rompuy, the European Council president, put a better spin on things, saying: EU leaders had a “constructive discussion” showing ”a sufficient degree of potential conversion to make an agreement possible at the beginning of next year.”

News reports said European officials from a bloc of net-paying (those who pay in more than they get out) countries felt the budget lacked spending restraint, and said the collapse in talks wasn’t the result of one nation threatening to veto. Van Rompuy said a deal could be reached next year and there was no cause for alarm:

We need some more time to find a solution. There’s no need to dramatize.

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