Hungary Welcomes Austria Taking Land Law Issue Off EU Agenda

  • 6 Feb 2014 3:00 AM
Hungary Welcomes Austria Taking Land Law Issue Off EU Agenda
Hungary’s farm minister Sándor Fazekas on Wednesday welcomed Austria’s decision to withdraw from an EU ministerial meeting’s agenda its concerns regarding Hungary’s new land laws. Fazekas said that he thought this was a step in the right direction and that the EU ministers’ council did not have the authority to discuss the matter. He said he still did not think it timely to meet with his Austrian counterpart over the matter.

Hungarian Parliament on Tuesday approved a modified law on so-called pocket contracts, which sought to make action taken by the authorities against the invalid ownership and misuse of farmland in Hungary more effective. Austrian farmers will not be able to legally claim ownership of lands in Hungary either under the old laws or the new ones, Fazekas said.

These types of “pocket contracts” will not be legalised in future, either, he said. The Austrian farm minister Andra Rupprechter earlier said the Hungarian legislation was unacceptable and contravened European laws.

In December last year he wrote to Fazekas with objections to the law, saying it would strip Austrian farmers of their right to benefit from Hungarian farmland.


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