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On November 30, 2007 the 27 EU transportation ministers involved reached an agreement, that it should be operational by 2013.The European Commission had some difficulty getting money for the project's next stage, as economic difficulty was threatening national budgets across Europe. Following the September 11, 2001 attacks, the United States Government wrote to the European Union opposing the project, arguing that it would end the ability of the United States to shut down GPS in times of military operations. On January 17, 2002 a spokesman for the project somberly stated that, as a result of U.S. pressure and economic difficulties, "Galileo is almost dead." A few months later, however, the situation changed dramatically. Partially in reaction to the pressure exerted by the U.S. Government, European Union member states decided it was important to have their own independent satellite-based positioning and timing infrastructure.