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EU: Enlargement Faces Threat Over Finances

Luxembourg, 23 October 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Denmark's foreign minister says the European Union's planned enlargement may be threatened if the 25 October deadline to reach agreement on funding the expansion is not met. Per Stig Moeller made the comment yesterday in Luxembourg. Denmark is the current EU president.

EU foreign ministers, who ended a two-day meeting in Luxembourg yesterday, put off decisions on the financing of the bloc's enlargement until a two-day summit in Brussels which begins tomorrow. Negotiations are now up to EU prime ministers and presidents who face the 25 October deadline to reach agreement.

EU member states are divided on how to share billions of dollars in farm subsidies and regional aid once new members join the bloc.

Foreign ministers from the 10 leading candidate countries for EU membership announced at a meeting in Prague they will only negotiate with the EU as a bloc on the difficult issues of agricultural subsidies and finance.