As negotiations for the future EU budget heat up, Germany has angered some member states by demanding that the money available to Brussels not exceed 1 percent of the bloc's GDP. But Berlin has some allies.
Germany's permanent representative to the EU made an unpopular announcement to his counterparts on Monday in the European Council building.
His country, said top diplomate Michael Clauss, does not want the EU budget to grow beyond 1 percent of gross domestic product in the coming years.
For some of the diplomats present, it was an alarming signal.
It means that Germany isn't prepared to increases its contributions to the EU over the course of the next multi-year budget, a message that contradicts what Berlin was saying just a year and a half ago.