Czechs, Slovaks cautious on EU farming agreement

Foreign ministers of the Czech Republic and Slovakia have expressed caution at a French-German agreement aimed at settling agriculture issues with European Union candidates. The agreement was billed in Brussels as a solution to the dispute over reform of the EU's Common Agricultural Policy. It calls for a phase-in of farm subsidies after enlargement in 2004 and a subsidy freeze starting in 2007. But Czech Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda, following talks in Prague with Slovak counterpart Eduard Kukan, said the agreement was merely "a basis for further negotiation" and a possible step toward resolving the issue.

Author: Rob Cameron