European Community agriculture ministers are unlikely to reach final agreement next week on major reforms to the EC's Common Agricultural Policy, a European Commission official said Wednesday.
The ministers are to meet Tuesday and Wednesday in Luxembourg, and the meeting could be extended if a final reform agreement appears possible, the official said. However, with a May 1 holiday, it is unlikely the ministers will push to complete the package in a marathon session, the official said.The ministers are scheduled to meet again May 18-19 in Brussels, and an agreement could be reached then, the official said. The ministers have been considering reforms put forward by Ray MacSharry, EC agriculture commissioner, since last July.
Portuguese Agriculture Minister Arlindo Cunha, who will chair next week's meeting, held bilateral talks in Lisbon Tuesday with the French farm minister, Louis Mermaz. The German agriculture minister, Ignaz Kiechle, met with Mr.
Cunha in Lisbon a few weeks ago, Portuguese officials said.