The European Commission is to take Greece to the European Court of Justice.

The EC has lost patience with Greece in its fight to end the Mediterranean country's preferential excise duty rate for alcohol used to manufacture the Greek spirit Ouzo.

Brussels claims that Athens has failed to take action following a formal legal warning letter.

The reduced rate is half of that applied to other spirits, such as gin, vodka, whisky and rum, including those brands produced in other EU member states.

The Treaty of European Union forbids EU countries from using tax discrimination to give protection to their own products against those imported from other member states.

Keith Nuthall