Italy resists massive destruction of olive trees

EU member states are divided on how to stop the spread of a disease affecting olive trees in Italy that could result in around a million being cut down, officials said Friday (27 March).

Experts from the 28 European Union nations gathered in Brussels this week to discuss steps to stop the outbreak of the xylella fastidiosa bacteria, but "no decision was taken" due to a lack of consensus, one official said.

Italy is the second biggest producer of olive oil in the EU after Spain.

"Negotiations and reflection and discussion are needed" before reaching a common position, the official told journalists on condition of anonymity.

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