EU lawmakers, govts clash on funding air security

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BRUSSELS, Nov 21 (Reuters) European Union governments and lawmakers are at loggerheads over who should pay the bill for increasingly stringent security measures at airports and on board flights, officials said today.

European Parliament deputies and representatives from the bloc's 27 governments also failed to agree in late talks on Tuesday on what conditions to put on the deployment and training of armed security officials on planes, the two sides said.

''Parliament has called on the member states to contribute to the cost of the basic security measures and to pay all costs of any stricter measures,'' lawmakers said in a statement today.

EU governments, however, believe that each of them should be free to decide what it wants to contribute to the costs, an EU official said.

A draft law, proposed two years ago by the bloc's executive Commission, aims at harmonising security measures in airports and on flights in the bloc, and allows for the presence of armed ''sky marshals'' if they have received proper training.

Lawmakers say they want stricter rules for sky marshals' deployment and training.

The draft law details basic rules on planning airport security, access to restricted areas, screening of passengers and luggage and in-flight security.

Reuters RSA RN2258

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