EU budget talks resume Friday; positions too far apart, Merkel says (Barcelona) - The EU leaders meeting taking place in Brussels concluded around 1am local time after 14+ hours of preliminary and bilateral talks, including about 1 hour of plenary debate on the €940bn EU budget proposal.

The meeting is due to resume Friday at midday Brussels time. “Time to sleep. It's a marathon.” - EU sources told to reporters, says Fabrizio Goria, correspondent from Italy at Eurointelligence, on his twitter account.

German Chancellor Angela Merckel said after the meeting she doubts an agreement will be reached on EU budget this week, and will likely need another few sessions of negotiations. She added positions are too far apart for now.

Meanwhile, according to an official statement by the European Council, Yves Mersch has been appointed to the executive board of the European Central Bank for a term of eight years as from 15 December. He will succeed José Manuel González-Páramo, who completed his term of office on 31 May.

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