When most of us are deciding what to spend on something, we tend do so on the basis of what we can afford, as well as whether what we’re shelling out for offers good value. What we tend not to do is pluck a percentage out of the air and decide to spend that proportion of our income on something, regardless of whether it requires that much money.
Germany’s Chancellor Merkel seems to favour the latter strategy, declaring in her discussions with the Prime Minister that the EU budget should be 1% of the total gross national income of EU nations. This, of course, requires a massive budget hike that is simply unacceptable.
One could certainly be forgiven for thinking that the Chancellor might be cautious about spending even more on Europe, given that the economic policy of several Eurozone countries seems to be to pick Germany up by the ankles and shake it to see what falls out.
You might also remember the letter Mrs Merkel signed in 2010 calling for a freeze in the EU budget and think there must be some sort of misunderstanding. But there is none, just the good old European ideals of convenience over principle, denial over honesty and the good of institutions over the good of the people.