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Government wants to sell land

On January 8, the Sme daily printed a front-page article about the Agriculture Ministry, led by Zdenka Kramplová, who was nominated by the People's Party - Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (LS-HZDS).

On January 8, the Sme daily printed a front-page article about the Agriculture Ministry, led by Zdenka Kramplová, who was nominated by the People's Party - Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (LS-HZDS).

The article said the ministry intends to submit a proposal that would allow the Slovak Land Fund (SPF) to trade in state land that has so far only been used for agricultural purposes.

The opposition parties interpret this as an effort by ĽS-HZDS chairman Vladimír Mečiar to turn the SPF into a real estate agency so he can continue the kind of privatization that he conducted while prime minister from 1994 to 1998.

The opposition warned that the proposal could lead to state land being sold to businessmen close to the current ruling coalition. Until now, the SPF was allowed to trade in land only under very strict terms. SITA

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports

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