. Energy News .

Hungary bans foreign farmland ownership
by Staff Writers
Budapest, Hungary (UPI) Dec 21, 2012

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

Hungary this week moved to ban foreign ownership of agricultural land under its new constitution amid fears over the future of family farming in the country.

The Hungarian Parliament passed a government proposal Monday to amend its 2011 Constitution, or Fundamental Law, to assure that in the future, only Hungarian farmers can purchase Hungarian farmland.

The law set Hungary on a collision course with the European Union, which had given Hungary until 2014 to phase out similar restrictions under previous laws as a condition of continued financial and development aid.

The government of conservative Prime Minister Viktor Orban hailed Monday's 263-87 vote as providing "stability, predictability and the opportunity for secure planning for those who live off agriculture."

Backers say it will halt an influx of foreign "speculators" from Austria, Italy and elsewhere who are using subterfuge to snap up distressed family farms at bargain prices.

"This is the beginning of a new era for agriculture," a statement issued by the Hungarian Ministry of Rural Development said. "The Constitution protects Hungarian farmland, our heritage and the basis of our livelihoods, from foreign and domestic speculators alike."

Orban's governing Fidesz Party and nationalist allies such as the Jobbik Party have raised alarms that Hungary's vital farm sector is being undermined by foreign banks and investors who are getting around land ownership restrictions by signing "pocket contracts" with farmers.

Under the alleged deals, the government says foreign investors set up illegal arrangements in which they will gain outright ownership of vast stretches of farmland after 2014 when an EU exemption for Hungary's restrictions expires.

Orban says the new law is meant to help small- and medium-size farmers stay independent as Hungary attempts reduce unemployment levels in its farming regions and boost production after decades of collectivism under communist rule.

The Jobbik Party in April had a demonstration near Gorgeteg in southwestern Hungary at a farm owned by a member of the Italian Benetton family. Protesters demanded an end to foreign ownership, Hungarian news agency MTI reported.

"Jobbik wants all unjust and immoral land ownership to stop in Gorgeteg and elsewhere in the country so that a network of local small and medium-sized family land ownership can take roots," Balazs Ander, a county councilman, said at the protest.

Socialist opponents, however, say fears of foreigners buying huge tracts of cheap farmland are exaggerated and are being used as a cover to deflect attention from the government's plans to privatize state-owned farmland into the hands of political cronies.

Jozsef Angyan, a former Hungarian secretary of state and one-time Fidesz lawmaker who bolted the party over the issue, says only a handful of bidders are benefiting from the process after the party used a promise to favor small, independent local farmers as a key to its 2010 election victory, The New York Times reported.

The new constitution was instituted shortly thereafter.

The government denies those claims and says the moves are necessary to preserve "the backbone of Hungarian agriculture" and to ensure that families in economically hard-hit rural areas will have jobs in the future.


Related Links
Farming Today - Suppliers and Technology

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Get Our Free Newsletters
Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear


Soybeans a source of valuable chemical
Houston TX (SPX) Dec 21, 2012
The humble soybean could become an inexpensive new source of a widely used chemical for plastics, textiles, drugs, solvents and as a food additive. Succinic acid, traditionally drawn from petroleum, is one focus of research by Rice chemists George Bennett and Ka-Yiu San. In 2004, the Department of Energy named succinic acid one of 12 "platform" chemicals that could be produced from sugars ... read more

China launches Turkish EO satellite

Google Maps driving Apple iOS upgrades

Google Maps returns to iPhone after Apple fiasco

Shadows on ice: Proba-1 images Concordia south polar base

KAIST announced a major breakthrough in indoor positioning research

Third Boeing GPS IIF Begins Operation After Early Handover to USAF

Putin Urges CIS Countries to Join Glonass

Third Galileo satellite begins transmitting navigation signal

Scientists Use Satellite Data to Map Invasive Species in Great Lakes Wetlands

Cloud forest trees drink water through their leaves

More bang for bugs

If you cut down a tree in the forest, can wildlife hear it?

NC State Study Offers Insight Into Converting Wood to Bio-Oil

Can Algae-Derived Oils Support Large-Scale, Low-Cost Biofuels Production?

Plastic packaging industry is moving towards completely bio-based products

Gases from Grasses

Top-10 Solar Market Predictions for 2013

KYOCERA Surpasses Two Million Solar Modules Produced in North America

Solar panel companies in federal probe

Asian Supermarket Distribution Center Completes Solar Installation

China's wind towers face U.S. tariffs

Offshore wind power: AREVA and STX France ally their expertise

US confirms duties on 1towers from China, Vietnam

Wind speeds in southern New England declining inland, remaining steady on coast

China mine blast kills 17: state media

China mine blast toll rises to 23

China mine blast kills 18: state media

US shale gas drives up coal exports

China 'V for Vendetta' broadcast amazes viewers

China property market revives despite controls

Stately pleasure dome rises in China's Chengdu

Testing time for China's migrant millions

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement