In Brussels, the European parliament backed new plans this week to clamp down on so called food speculation. Ahead of the vote on Wednesday, campaigners held a rally calling on MEPs to act. The cost of wheat and corn has soared this summer. That is partly due to drought in the US Midwest, but activists say the problem is being made worse by financial speculators driving prices up even higher.
Anne van Schaik from Friends of the Earth said: “We need to delete all secretive deals that are going on right now. We need for the regulatory authorities to have the right data on a daily basis. We need to make sure that the amount of shares that a financial speculator can hold are limited”
MEPs insist Europe must lead the way when it comes to stamping out food speculation. They are urging EU national governments to impose strict new limits on trading in basic commodity markets.
“The United States are working on that, the Asian area is not working on the fulfilment of the obligations. So I hope we can send out a strong signal that Europe is ready to do what it has promised,” said Markus Ferber MEP.
In Brussels, euronews’ Isabel Marques da Silva said:
“The working group in the European Parliament has admitted receiving more than two thousand amendments to the text, which just shows how difficult it is to reach a consensus. The draft will now go before EU member states.’‘