European Union (EU) Agriculture Commissioner, Mariann Fischer Boel, came out fighting today (14 December), attacking politicians who want to water down her proposed root-and-branch reforms for the EU's stagnating wine sector.

Her comments followed a European Parliament vote this week, where MEPs opposed many of her proposals, even the abolition of compulsory distillation.

Facing a final decision from a EU Council of Ministers meeting next Monday to Wednesday, Fischer Boel said: "We live in the real world, and I have shown considerable flexibility over many of my original proposals. But I won't allow the proposals to be watered down so far that the end product loses all taste and value."

Calling for a compromise that "must give us a reform worthy of the name", she said: "Now is the time to set our wine sector firmly on the road to new success. The cost of inaction is too high for us to accept."