Sant urges common EU food purchases to counter sharp rise in prices

Labour MEP Alfred Sant advocates for a common purchase platform to shield EU citizens from price hikes due to the knock-on effects of the war

Malta has already experienced increase in the prices of imported grains, as well as newsprint and paper, and risks other inflationary impacts from the knock-on effects of the war
Malta has already experienced increase in the prices of imported grains, as well as newsprint and paper, and risks other inflationary impacts from the knock-on effects of the war

Labour MEP Alfred Sant is calling for a common platform for the purchase of essentials whose prices has spiked in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Malta has already experienced increase in the prices of imported grains, as well as newsprint and paper, and risks other inflationary impacts from the knock-on effects of the war.

Addressing the European Parliament plenary during a debate on the socio-economic consequences of the war in Ukraine for the EU, former PM and head of the Maltese S&D delegation Alfred Sant said second-round effects of the war could undermine social and financial stability in the European Union.

“Sanctions imposed on Russia have not yet reached their full impact, just like they are still not fully impacting EU Member States. The challenge is to prepare for the turmoil ahead,” the MEP warned.

Sant said coordination between member states for national support plans would be of chief importance, with the EU providing common purchases to obtain prices that are more advantageous from suppliers.

He highlighted how the model being discussed for gas and hydrogen purchases to shield consumers from rising prices, could be retrofitted for food too.

A sixth package of sanctions against Russia includes an import ban on all Russian oil transported by sea or pipeline, both crude and refined.

Sant said European governments face a decline in their national income by at least 2%.

“They will seek to cushion the shocks, especially on low-income strata of their populations. In doing so, they should not allow free market hang-ups to blur their interventions.

“Second-round effects of the war will entail higher energy costs, fiscal impacts, cyberattacks and disruption of supply chains as we head towards an 8 to 22% increase in food prices alone over the next two years. This will undermine social and financial stability in the EU.

“The EU can make a substantial difference with common purchases to obtain prices that are more advantageous from suppliers. The model being discussed in the case of gas and hydrogen could be extended to food.”

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This article is part of a content series called Ewropej. This is a multi-newsroom initiative part-funded by the European Parliament to bring the work of the EP closer to the citizens of Malta and keep them informed about matters that affect their daily lives. This article reflects only the author’s view. The European Parliament is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

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