Olive trees: MEPs want answers on how to tackle spread of killer bacteria 

Parliament will quiz the Commission Thursday on plans to tackle the outbreak of Xylella fastidiosa bacteria, which have infected several thousand hectares of olive plantations in Italy, and prevent it spreading to other EU regions. The Commission will also be asked to say how any growers whose trees have to be destroyed would be compensated.

MEPs also want the Commission to pursue research to eradicate deadly plant diseases caused by pathogens such as Xylella fastidiosa and Black Spot in citrus imports from South Africa. They will ask whether it is ready to tighten restrictions on plant imports.

Note to editors


Xylella fastidiosa has already infected thousands of hectares of olive trees in Puglia region in Southern Italy and might also attack other plant species, such as citrus, grapevines and stone fruits (almond, peach, plum), leading, in the most severe cases, to their death.


Italy grows olives on about 1,700,000 ha, making it the EU’s second largest grower after Spain. Around 80% of this area is in southern Italy, including about 370,000 ha in the Apulia region alone.

Question for oral answer to the Commission

Debate:: Thursday, 30 April

Vote: May I plenary

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