THE CONDITIONS of selling and donating agricultural land will be more strict in Slovakia after parliament passed a new law on agricultural land ownership May 16.

The law which was passed in a fast-tracked procedure is scheduled to become effective as of June 1, the TASR newswire reported. The Agriculture Ministry who authored the law believes it can help protect agricultural land in Slovakia and prevent speculative land transactions.

Under the new rules, persons who have run business or worked in the agricultural sector for at least three years will have a precedence to purchase land in Slovakia. The first precedence is for cooperative farms, agro-companies, and small farmers in the municipality where the land offered for sale is located. If they are not interested, the land will be offered to agricultural subjects in the neighbouring municipalities, and only following that also those from other regions. Only if no Slovakia-based company active in agriculture shows interest in buying the land will the land be offered for sale to foreign subjects, TASR wrote.

These limits will not be applied for plots under 2,000 square metres, as well as gardens and agricultural plots located within the residential area of the respective municipality.

Persons and companies from countries whose laws prevent Slovak citizens and companies from purchasing land in the respective country will be prevented from purchasing land in Slovakia. This will not be applied for EU and EEA countries.

The opposition has criticised the new law and several opposition MPs have claimed during the debate in the parliament that the law puts in advantage big companies and financial sharks, and that it is unconstitutional. They already announced it might end up at the Constitutional Court, TASR wrote.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports.
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information
presented in its Flash News postings.