EU postpones tough decisions on farm subsidies

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European Union leaders chose to side-step tough decisions on costly farm subsidies at last Saturday's Seville Summit, but set a November deadline for resolving the issue, seen as crucial if the planned expansion of the EU to the east is to go ahead in 2004.

European Union leaders chose to side-step tough decisions on costly farm subsidies at last Saturday's Seville Summit, but set a November deadline for resolving the issue, seen as crucial if the planned expansion of the EU to the east is to go ahead in 2004. Most of the EU's budget is devoured by farm and infrastructure spending. The German leader Gerhard Schroeder said there were two options: phasing out farm subsidies altogether, or making member states pick up the bill for their own farmers.