European stocks advance as EU budget talks begin

<p>European stocks have climbed as EU leaders gather for crucial budget talks.</p>

European stocks have made gains this afternoon (November 22nd) as the leaders of the 27 European Union (EU) member states begin talks on the region's seven-year budget.

Many countries are calling for cuts in line with the savings they are making nationally, with the UK stating that the latest EU proposals are making progress but "did not go far enough", while more needs to be done to reduce expenditure.

Meanwhile, Poland and other Eastern European nations want current spending to stay the same or go up, as they rely heavily on cash from the EU.

The EU leaders will continue their talks into tomorrow and possibly longer as they negotiate a seven-year financial plan for the region, but discussions could drag into 2013 if no deal is reached.

At 15:45 GMT, the FTSE 100 rose by 0.7 per cent to an index value of 5794.3 points, while the German Dax advanced by 0.8 per cent to 7244.2 points and the Madrid Ibex was up by one per cent to 7882.5 points.

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