Action Necessary For Fuel Crisis

SNP President Ian Hudghton MEP has welcomed a resolution adopted today (Thursday) in the European Parliament calling for solidarity with fishermen at a time of rising fuel costs. The resolution calls for the European Commission and the EU's member states to work with the fishing industry to find solutions in the short, medium and long terms to the ongoing crisis.

The parliamentary text recognises that certain governments have already initiated schemes aimed at reducing fuel consumption and commits EU support for such initiatives. Mr Hudghton commented:

"The soaring cost of fuel is having a crippling effect on the fishing industry and politicians from across Europe have united to express solidarity with fishermen. However, words are not enough and what the industry needs is concrete action from governments.

"The European parliament has expressly recognised such initiatives as the Scottish Government's Fuel Task Force and has given its support to schemes aimed at reducing fuel consumption. However, many of the powers required to alleviate the current situation remain in London and the Westminster government seem to be sticking to their traditional role of ignoring the fishing industry's needs.

"It is scandalous that the Scottish fishing industry is suffering while Alistair Darling is raking in a windfall from North Sea oil. Politicians from around Europe have expressed serious concerns at the ongoing crisis and this ought to pile more shame on the London government."

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