Newspaper review: Predictions for EU budget summit


The crunch summit on the EU's budget comes in for scrutiny from the papers.

The Times reminds its readers that in Brussels they classify their summits by the number of shirts that the national leaders will require.

This one, it says, "could turn into a fabled 'three-shirter'"; in other words a meeting lasting more than 48 hours.

The Daily Telegraph isn't even that optimistic about the timetable. It suggests another summit will be required for any deal to be struck.

The FT also expects "a gruelling summit", but unlike some it detects "cautious optimism" that "an unlikely deal" with the UK can be struck.

The Guardian and others expect a "battle".

Linguistic skills

If Prime Minister David Cameron needs any advice, he'll find plenty on offer.

A cartoon in the Times puts a handbag on the table in front of him - an image that summons up the defiant spirit of Lady Thatcher.

The paper imagines him saying: "I warn you, I'm not afraid to use it."

The Daily Express says it hopes that "the prime minister has been practising saying the word 'No' in a variety of European languages".

The Daily Mail says he has a mandate to "be ruthless" and, when the Eurocrats "use every trick in the book to cheat Britain", he "mustn't hesitate" to veto an unacceptable deal.

But Peter Oborne, of the Telegraph, argues that this is not the time "to tie Mr Cameron's hands" - because he sees Europe in the grip of "tragic and terrible circumstances".

Mr Cameron must be "given space to negotiate", he says.

There is a shocked reaction to the killing of an eight-day old baby by the family's Jack Russell terrier.

In the Daily Mirror, an expert on the behaviour of dogs says Jack Russells usually make good family pets, but "no dog is a hundred per cent safe with a very young child".

Even the gentlest pet can be unpredictable, says the Daily Star, and it's better to err on the side of caution by keeping dogs well away from children.

Damaged Gaza

Hopes are expressed by many that the ceasefire between Hamas and Israel will prove to be what the Mirror calls "a peace that lasts".

Both sides, says the Guardian, have been trying to present the outcome as a victory, but the paper thinks that the biggest winner in the negotiations was the Islamist president of Egypt, Mohammed Mursi.

Under the terms of the deal, it says, the siege of Gaza is over and Israel is discovering that its use of force against Hamas may well have made that organisation stronger.

The Independent points out that one clear consequence is the damage done to the buildings and facilities on which civic society relies in Gaza.

The ruthless sacking of the Chelsea manager is summed up by the Sun as "diabolical" because Roberto Di Matteo had "worked a miracle" at the club last season.

Loyalty and sportsmanship are almost extinct, it says, and the busiest man in Chelsea is "the bloke who paints the name of the manager's parking space".

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