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Rules for transactions concerning farmland to change

The government on April 23 approved changes that introduce more restriction on acquiring farmland. Proposed by the Agriculture Ministry, it is meant to prevent speculative sales and purchases or possible misuse of land ownership, the SITA newswire wrote.

The government on April 23 approved changes that introduce more restriction on acquiring farmland. Proposed by the Agriculture Ministry, it is meant to prevent speculative sales and purchases or possible misuse of land ownership, the SITA newswire wrote.

Officials had said they were concerned about the large amount of farmland being purchased by foreigners. If approved by parliament, the bill will come into effect on June 1, a month after the moratorium on purchasing the Slovak farmland by non-residents expires. At the government meeting on April 23, ministers agreed to incorporate in the bill the condition that only people with at least 10 years of permanent residence or firm’s registration in Slovakia, will be eligible to buy farmland, the Sme daily wrote. People who have been in the agriculture business for at least three years should be preferred. Farmers from the municipality where the farmland in question is located should have the preferential right and only in the event that nobody shows interest, farmers from the neighbouring municipalities will be able to purchase the land.

All undeveloped land up to the size one hectare should be announced by owner if offered for sale, stating the use, the location and the price on a public signboard for 15 days, as well as at the Central Register which is to be established since June 1 at the Agriculture Ministry, SITA wrote. If the land is over one hectare, the intended transaction must be published also in a regional or national periodical.

Among critics, Robert Žitňanský of Nova told SITA that the wording of the law suggests it will benefit those who can use subsidies to acquire large amounts of land at discount prices and that the real implications of the law are well hidden.

(Source: SITA, Sme)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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