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2002-03-22 08:16:16

Nicosia, Mar 22 (CNA)-Cyprus' chief negotiator with the European Union George Vassiliou has said that three of the four remaining chapters of the acquis communautaire are expected to close provisionally by May.

Vassiliou, who was speaking in Brussels after talks with EU officials, said that in April Cyprus will close the chapter on Regional Policy and probably that on Taxation, while the chapter on Competition is expected to close in May.

Regarding the chapter on Agriculture, Vassiliou said Cyprus is ready to close it by June, before the end of the Spanish Presidency. However, he added, this will depend on whether the European Commission proposal on Agriculture is adopted by the 15.|

Cyprus Minister of Agriculture Costas Themistocleous has pointed out that the EU was given three months from now to adopt a common position on agricultural issues and as a result candidate countries will be able to start separate negotiations for closing the chapter on Agriculture under the Danish Presidency, which begins on July 1.

He said that all candidate countries have asked to receive the whole EU subsidy for agriculture when they become members in 2004 and not a reduced one.

Cyprus asked for different treatment than that of Central and Eastern European countries, after accession, as it is not receiving now EU subsidies as other candidate countries do.

EU Enlargement Director General of the General Directorate Eneco Landaburu has said that the EU is in a position to satisfy certain demands of Cyprus regarding derogations and transitional periods.

He said that Cyprus may be able to close certain chapters of the acquis communautaire in April.

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