EU rules stop 20 tonnes of Salina salt from being sold

The salt pans in Salini, which are the most viable pans on the island, were restored with the use of EU agricultural funds and therefore can not produce marketable salt due to high yield

Around 20 tonnes of salt was collected from only two pans last year – none of which can be put on the market due to EU rules, Environment Minister Jose Herrera said.

Restoration of the Salini salt pans was financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development 2007-2013 and the project was completed by 2015.

The fact that EU funds were used to restore the salt pans prevents them from being used to create a dominant market player. Considering the substantial size of the yield – 20 tonnes – it could easily flood the market.

Responding to a parliamentary question on Wednesday, Herrera said that the salt is currently being held in a storage at Salina, and the obligation not to market the salt is valid until 2020. No salt was collected in 2016.

Two assistant salt workers are currently working on the production of salt pans and other maintenance work, and one such position is currently vacant, the minister said.

A storm which contaminated the site in 2003 led salt production to a halt before restoration works began. Work on the salt pans involved a total investment of €7 million EU funds.

Why not sell it abroad?

PD leader Anthony Buttigieg proposed selling the salt abroad
PD leader Anthony Buttigieg proposed selling the salt abroad

Reacting to the news on Facebook, Democratic Party leader Anthony Buttigieg said this was the type of logic that created eurosceptics. He asked: "I hate wastage. If 20 tonnes of salt cannot be sold on the local market as it would flood it, how about finding a foreign market for it?"

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