MEP Alex Agius Saliba is once more asking the European Commission to “stop abdicating from responsibility” and start investigating alleged profiteering in the importation and distribution of food, as soon as possible.

This investigation was requested after his petition was welcomed by a unanimous vote within a committee including MEPs from different member states.

MEP Agius Saliba had argued that due to Malta’s limitations, its size and geographic location, the country is facing “de-facto monopolies” by its own importers and distributors. On top of facing challenges such as the pandemic, geopolitical conflict, and labour shortages, he had argued that Malta’s limitations were leading to an additional inflation rate in the country.

Now, after the unanimous vote within the petitions committee, the MEP remarked that Malta is experiencing a situation that “no other member state is, where importers and distributors have control of over 60 per cent – between two companies – of the food that is being consumed.”

He remarked that now the ball is in the Commission’s court and that since Parliamentarians gave him support, there isn’t much left to do but for the Commission to investigate.

It should be noted that the European Commission had explained that local food importers and distributors suspected of profiteering should be investigated by the respective member state and its National Competition Authority, and not the European Commission.

MEP candidate Peter Agius, who had closely followed the case, had agreed with the Commission that if there are grounds for investigation, then such requests should be sent to the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority.

Additionally, the Chamber of SMEs had been highly critical of Dr Agius Saliba’s requests stating that this was none other than a hypocritical attack on importers. The SME Chamber at the time said that it will not accept for Maltese businesses to be “made into scapegoats for cheap political advancements.”

Nonetheless, MEP Alex Agius Saliba insisted that he will remain vigilant so that the Maltese consumers’ rights are met.


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