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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

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BONN, Germany -- German and French leaders called in a joint letter released Tuesday for a freeze on European Union spending levels and proposed a new cap on its budget.

German Chancellor Gerhard Schr?der and French President Jacques Chirac proposed that the EU curb expenses as part of a campaign to make its planned eastward expansion more affordable.

The letter nonetheless backed existing EU budget proposals that would allow an increase in the union's central budget limit to 1.27 percent of total gross national product in the EU from its current level of 1.10 percent.