NEWS BRIEFS

Visegrad toughens EU stance

THE GOVERNMENT heads of Slovakia, Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic agreed at a meeting in late June in Hungary's Ostrihom that their countries could not join the EU if they were to be net payers to the EU budget, and if they did not receive the same farm aid as member states.

The leaders were meeting under the aegis of the Visegrad Four regional association, of which they are members. They said proposals to have new EU member states wait at least seven years before receiving full agricultural aid had to be radically shortened.

The summit was the first for the group since February, when then-Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán angered his counterparts with nationalist statements.

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