Progress in EU accession talks

Czech negotiators in Brussels say that consultations among EU member states on a common policy with regard to the conditions of the accession agreement for the Czech Republic have moved the talks forward. The competition chapter is expected to be closed at the end of next week and progress is also reported on the controversial agriculture chapter, where EU states have agreed to Czech demands for higher production quotas for sugar and potato starch. On the other hand, the EU states have shown little inclination to increase the number of seats which the Czech Republic will have in the European Parliament. The country has been allotted 20 seats and has complained that countries with a comparable population have at least two more.