EU agrees 2008 budget to include Galileo financing
(BRUSSELS) - EU lawmakers agreed a 2008 budget on Friday that will include the necessary funds to finance the stalled Galileo satellite-navigation project, the Portuguese presidency said.
Finance ministers from the bloc agreed to raise an extra 2.4 billion euros (3.5 billion dollars) for the project, using 1.6 billion euros of unspent money intended for farm subsidies from the EU's joint budget, it said.
The Galileo project envisages a network of 30 satellites that will beam radio signals to receivers on the ground, allowing users to find their exact locations and keep time.
The system's supporters promise it will give greater accuracy and reliability than GPS, the current US leader in the field.
Work on Galileo, supposed to be a showcase for Europe's technical prowess and meant to rival the US GPS, has stalled as cost over-runs pile up, private contractors bicker and member nations push their own industrial interests.
It was originally slated to launch in 2008, but it is now set to be deployed in 2013.
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