MAJORCA DAILY BULLETIN| Tougher measures sought to prevent “olive ebola” in the Balearics

The Xylella fastidiosa (Xf) bacterium was first being detected last year in parts of Europe. Commonly referred to as the “olive ebola”, it can cause serious damage to olive trees and also to almond, fig and citrus trees. The El Pi party has now taken the matter to the Balearic parliament in seeking the means to prevent any outbreak. One of its parliamentary deputies, Josep Melià, has stressed to the environment committee that XF cannot be allowed to enter the Balearics. “The consequences could be catastrophic.”

El Pi is aware that the regional agriculture ministry has impounded consignments of olive trees from the mainland that do not have the appropriate “passport”, but it believes there need to be further measures. These would include the monitoring of areas susceptible to being contaminated, placing plants that might carry XF in quarantine and intensifying controls at islands’ entry points. These would be for plants for nursery production and even for material destined for the hotel and construction sectors.

The party is calling for a specific action plan to be established so that immediate measures can be adopted if there were to be a case of XF. Melià has concluded: “We must be very careful, as we cannot afford to be caught off our guard by a bacterium which has already had highly negative effects on agriculture in Europe and could be devastating for the Balearics.”

Published on July 21, 2016 by MAJORCA DAILY BULLETIN