Olive trees: MEPs to demand action to prevent spread of killer bacteria
Parliament will insist that everything possible must be done to tackle the outbreak of Xylella fastidiosa bacteria and prevent it spreading to other EU regions, including spending more on research, in a resolution to be voted on Wednesday. Xylella has already infected several thousand hectares of olive plantations in Italy, prompting fears in neighbouring states that it could spread further.
In Parliament’s April plenary debate, MEPs asked the European Commission to compensate growers whose trees have to be destroyed due to eradication measures.
They also called on the Commission to pursue research to do away with deadly plant diseases caused by pathogens such as Xylella fastidiosa and so-called Black Spot, found in citrus imports from South Africa.
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.
Procedure: non-legislative resolution
Vote: Wednesday, 20 May
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