In a surprise move, German chancellor Gerhard Schroder and French president Jacques Chirac last night [Thursday] reached agreement on limiting EU agricultural subsidies after 2006. The deal is believed to freeze future agricultural spending at current levels, taking inflation into account, reports FT.com. It should now ease the path for all 15 EU countries to agree a common line on how to finance plans to take in ten new members by 2004. These include Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.