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Defeat of EC budget likely as conciliation talks fail

Rejection of a proposed $22 billion Common Market budget by the European Parliament today was seen as more likely after conciliation talks between the Parliament and the Council of Ministers of the European Community (EC) collapsed Wednesday.

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Parliamentary sources said the failed talks could lead the Parliament to reassert its previous budget demands, including a freeze on British and West German budget rebates and reinstatement of expenditures deleted by the ministers.

Meanwhile, Britain and West Germany blocked an EC research project aimed at catching up with Japanese and US competition in computers and information technology within 10 years, officials said.

The two countries said the EC's unresolved budget problems meant they could not yet approve cash for the project, which is widely seen as a key to the trading bloc's economic future. Diplomats did not rule out some form of approval within a few days.