Labour MEP Alex Agius Saliba has called on the European Commission to provide Malta with financial assistance to tackle the issues of drought and oriental hornets that are plaguing the agricultural sector. 

He was speaking during a plenary debate on the European Citizen's initiative aimed at discussing issues around bees and farmers. He said that Malta needs urgent remedies to the problem of oriental hornets which destroy the Maltese ecosystem and disrupt honey production. 

Last year, beekeepers reported that oriental hornets caused the demise of around 70 per cent of local beehives, throwing a significant spanner in the works of local honey production. 

In February, the Agriculture Ministry said it would be distributing an undisclosed amount of funds among beekeepers to help in setting up traps to control the hornet population and prevent them from continuing to decimate Maltese bees. 

The European Citizens’ Initiative is a tool which allows citizens of EU states to take their pressing matters directly to the European Union and ask its legislative bodies to take action. 

“I do support this important initiative and I look forward to taking action on the protection of bees on the European level. Without bees, we will not eat. Without bees there is no biodiversity”, Agius Saliba stressed.

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