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Constitutional land protection moved to second reading

SNS wants to protect land from speculative purchases.

Illustrative stock photo(Source: Sme)

Parliament moved the constitutional amendment aimed to protect Slovak land to the second reading on February 7.

If supported by at least 90 MPs, the change may define the land as “a non-renewable natural resource which has the special protection of state and society” in article 44 of the constitution.

The main objective of the change is to prevent the so-called speculative purchase of agricultural land which may have extensive negative impacts, according to its authors from the Slovak National Party (SNS).

“The proposal will open doors to solutions for the acquisition of agricultural and forestry land, their legal protection and the security of food safety for people,” said SNS MP Eva Antošová, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

Since speculators do not want to use the purchased plots for agricultural purposes, Slovakia may see a situation where the food safety of the country is endangered. Moreover, the situation of domestic farmers, who cannot compete with the farmers from other countries in the common European market, may worsen, said one of the authors, Tibor Bernaťák, as reported by TASR.

“The current legislation perceives the land as any other commodity which we did not consider right, so we decided to solve this problem,” Antošová said, as quoted by TASR.

SNS MPs expect that after amendments to the constitution have been made, it will be possible to adopt more laws that will specify the procedure for using the land, either by commercial companies or farmers, .

The change has already been supported by Smer and also some MPs from Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO-NOVA). The only party which has clearly said it would not support the change so far is Freedom and Solidarity (SaS).

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