The elusive deal for a Free Trade Area (FTA) between South Africa and the European Union is being held up by just one issue, the EU's Heads of State and Government admitted on December 13. All obstacles to an Agreement were removed, by the end of the weekend's Vienna European Council, except the issue of the registered designations, Port and Sherry. Portugal and Spain are insisting that South African producers, who have been producing the fortified wines under those names for generations, remove the names from their labels on all products in the long term. South Africa is willing to remove the name from exports to third countries, but not on bottles sold on the domestic market. Reluctance to budge on both sides means that the EU's self-imposed deadline of the end of 1998 is bound to be missed. The negotiations for an Agreement on access to South Africa's fishing waters, running in parallel, are to be concluded by the year 2000, the two sides agreed.

The Conclusions of the Vienna Summit refer to the...

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