24 March 1999
EU governments prepare farm deal

THE future shape of agriculture across Europe is expected to be decided in Berlin over the next two days when the 15 heads of government hold their summit.

Agriculture is viewed as a linchpin of the deal. Farm ministers have already agreed a package of reforms.

But the package has fallen £5 billion shorter over the next six years than heads of government had wanted.

France is expected to push for less radical reform, while Britain will be in the opposite corner.

Several broadsheets carry a picture of French farmers protesting against the proposed reforms.