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Support Vital in EU Fuel Package Measures

EU - With the EU Fisheries Council still in session discussing measures to alleviate sky-high fuel costs, it is emerging that there may be more flexibility in the final package than had originally been proposed.

According to Scottish Fishermen’s Federation chief executive Bertie Armstrong, it appears that the EU is proposing that any under-spend in the areas of budget other than fisheries should be redirected by national governments towards fuel cost alleviation measures to help the fishing fleet, rather than being absorbed back by their treasuries.

It is also emerging that there will be more flexibility in the interpretation of decommissioning and ‘fleet adaptation’ measures, rather than there being strict and rigid regulations for all countries to adhere to.

However, there will still be the requirement for national governments to release their own funding to support such measures.

Mr Armstrong said: “The Scottish fishing industry demands that such national support is forthcoming, otherwise segments of the fleet are facing a very bleak future indeed.

“We welcome the move towards more flexibility in the support package, but this support will only be effective if there is help from the UK governments. Urgent discussion will be required to see how the final agreed package can be translated into real help for the Scottish fleet.”

Ellen Hardy

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