Public anger across Europe has forced Brussels to bottle out of plans to ban olive oil jugs in restaurants and cafes. The plans originally had been dreamt up by the European commissioner for agriculture, Dacian Cioloş.

Cioloş wanted new "hygienic" nozzles attached to the jugs, plus printed labelling on each bottle. A plan virgin on the ridiculous?


Public loathing

Very much so. In the end Cioloş - formerly a Romanian engineer - agreed that his plans had received a cold pressing from the public. "It was a measure intended to help consumers, to protect and inform them but it is clear that it cannot attract consumer support," he said, quoted in the Telegraph.

However it transpires the Coalition did not oppose the plans, which were part-aimed - allegedly - at stamping out restaurant 'fraud' (though no evidence was produced).

The move also exposes how Brussels law-makers can introduce legislation straight onto the statue book without the need of full, majority support from EU members. One farming association, Copa-Cogeca, is not pleased about the plans being stoppered.

U-turn

"It is totally unacceptable," Copa-Cogeca secretary-general Pekka Pesonen said in a statement, "that the Commission has done a complete U-turn and has succumbed to political pressure like this without any discussion with Member States and Industry. I urge the Commission to revise its decision."

However Pesonen has been outmanoeuvred. The EU has no plans to bring in similar regulations for butter, salt or other restaurant table basics - for the moment.