Greeks get EU right to feta name

Greece has won its long battle for the exclusive rights to the name of feta for its distinctive white goat-milk cheese, following a split decision by EU agriculture ministers that will allow the European Commission to issue a regulation adding the product to an EU list of exclusive protected regional goods. «The decision vindicates persistent efforts by the Greek government. From now on, any cheese carrying the name feta must be Greek and only Greek,» Agriculture Minister Giorgos Drys said after yesterday’s meeting in Luxembourg. Denmark, Germany and Britain voted against Greece while France, Austria and Ireland abstained. The other nine countries did not constitute a large enough majority to carry the proposal, meaning that it was now up to the Commission (which has already agreed to this) to decide. The ruling demonstrates the EU’s determination to encourage the production of choice goods distinguished by their high quality, Drys added. The EU’s commissioner for agriculture, Franz Fischler, is due to table a proposal awarding Greece the feta copyright next month.

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