The European Commission has brushed aside a demand by Italy to be allowed to continue marketing Tocai Friulano wine after 2007 when an agreement permitting its use of the name expires.

The European Union agreed in 1993 that the name Tokai should be reserved for Hungary after 2007 but Italy claims that the entry of that country into the EU in May this year changes the rules and it is seeking a legal interpretation to this effect from the European Court of Justice.

Johann Reyniers, Commission wine spokesman, said "we do not agree that there should be any change in the present agreement."