Athens holds out for olive, ouzo copyright

BRUSSELS (AFP) – The European Union failed yesterday to reach agreement on a list of food and drinks the names of which should be protected in global markets, such as Champagne or Parma. Officials said Greece is blocking the accord on the list of some 30 products, which the 15-member bloc plans to present to a summit of the World Trade Organization in Cancun, Mexico, on September 10-14. «Everyone except the Greeks is ready to agree» on the final list, said one EU official, after the breakdown of talks in Geneva among experts from the EU’s current members, plus 10 countries due to join the bloc next year. Athens has secured inclusion of feta cheese on the list, which the EU is proposing should be validated by the WTO, but other products such as Kalamata olives or ouzo have not been accepted. Talks will be repeated next week.