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THE WEEK AHEAD

BRUSSELS : Aid for Some New Friends?

July 23, 1991

Financial support for Eastern Europe will be high on the agenda at the regular meeting of the 12 foreign ministers of the European Community nations that convenes Monday.

The EC is coordinating Western financial assistance for the Eastern European countries as they convert from central planning to market economies. But at the same time, the EC maintains tough quotas and tariffs against Eastern Europe's likeliest exports: farm products, textiles and steel.

Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary are trying to negotiate associate membership status in the EC, and Poland has threatened to break off the talks if the EC does not open its markets to the East. Several EC leaders acknowledged at last week's economic summit in London that it made no sense to support Eastern Europe with one hand but block its exports with the other.

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