Lawmakers eye leftover funds for Galileo

The European Union's troubled Galileo satellite navigation system will be financed from leftover EU funds, EU ministers decided, after Germany and three other countries that had opposed the arrangement relented, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report said most of the 2.4 billion euros ($3.56 billion) the EU says is needed to complete the project will come from unspent funds originally earmarked for agriculture, officials said.

Some 300 million euros ($445 million) was also earmarked to launch the EU's new technology and innovation institute, meant to rival the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the report said.

The decision taken late Friday means Galileo, which nearly folded after a consortium of private companies tasked with developing it failed to make progress, will be completed.

It is to give Europe its own satellite navigation system, ending its dependency on the US-run Global Positioning System, the report said.

The Associated Press report further said Germany got on board after the EU's executive Commission proposed new tender rules meant to ensure the multibillion-euro project is not dominated by a single company.