Byline: Tom Hundley
LIBCICE NAD VLTAVOU, Czech Republic _ The Rous family has deep roots in the soil here, roots that go back to 1498 at least.
In the last century, the family's farm survived the Nazi occupation, four decades of communist misrule, the breakup of Czechoslovakia and a wrenching transition to a market economy.
The question now is whether it can survive the European Union.
"I myself voted in favor of the E.U.," said Josef Rous, 30, who runs the farm with his wife and mother. "I'm not afraid of it. I feel I've prepared. So we'll see what happens after May 1."
That is the day that the European Union opens its doors to 10 new members, including the Czech Republic and seven other former socialist countries from Central and Eastern Europe.
This is the Big Bang approach to E.U. expansion, and no one is quite sure how it will all work once the dust settles. In the incoming countries, the most apprehensive are small-business people, particularly farmers and others in the agricultural and …