15 December 1998
Germany warns EU — reform or else

GERMANY has warned other European Union countries that they must reach agreement on Agenda 2000 by the March deadline next year or “inevitably halt the unions development”.

The warning came from Joshka Fischer, the Bonn foreign minister, on the eve of Germanys assumption of the European Union (EU) presidency for six months.

Mr Fischer said an Agenda 2000 programme to cut spending on agriculture and freeze regional aid was essential to make the union capable of enlargement.

He said the enlargement of the union to include several East European states could otherwise be delayed by several years.

Germany, which is trying to reduce its net contribution to the EU budget, has asked for national Governments to take more of a role in subsidising agriculture rather than the EU itself.