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SMER proposal would restricts ownership rights to allow highway construction

The senior ruling coalition partner, SMER-SD, wants to limit the rights of owners of forest land plots on which highways are to be built. SMER-SD MP Peter Pelegrini submitted an amending proposal in parliament to the revision of the law on protection and use of agricultural land, the SITA newswire wrote. According to his proposal, it will not be necessary to get the approval of owners or administrators of forest land in order to change the function of forest lands to allow highway construction. However, substitution or compensation for restriction of ownership rights must be provided. If approved, the revision would come into force next year.

The senior ruling coalition partner, SMER-SD, wants to limit the rights of owners of forest land plots on which highways are to be built. SMER-SD MP Peter Pelegrini submitted an amending proposal in parliament to the revision of the law on protection and use of agricultural land, the SITA newswire wrote. According to his proposal, it will not be necessary to get the approval of owners or administrators of forest land in order to change the function of forest lands to allow highway construction. However, substitution or compensation for restriction of ownership rights must be provided. If approved, the revision would come into force next year.

Opposition SDKÚ-DS) MP Jarmila Tkáčová said that the proposal of Pelegrini violates ownership rights. She regards his proposal as an effort to expropriate land from the forests’ owners. The proposal indirectly amends the controversial bill of Transport Minister Ľubomír Vážny (SMER-SD), which is supposed to accelerate the construction of highways. Parliament approved the bill, introducing one-off extraordinary measures to accelerate construction of highways and dual-carriageways at the end of last year. Vážny’s bill set out a simpler process for expropriation of land for future highway construction. According to the bill, it will not be necessary to acquire proprietary rights to land plots as part of the planning procedure; instead, it would be enough to get ownership rights to the land as part of the final approval procedure for an already-built highway. Vážny admitted that sharper measures had to be proposed in order to meet the three-year deadline for completion of the highway connection between Bratislava and Košice. The president signed the bill into law, though the opposition warned that it may contradict the constitution. The opposition filed a motion requesting that the Constitutional Court issue a preliminary injunction suspending the effectiveness of respective provisions in the law. SITA

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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