Budapest, July 8 (MTI) – Hungary’s farm ministry has called for an investigation into the status of land formerly belonging to cooperatives during the communist era that should have been returned to the state.
Istvan Nagy, parliamentary state secretary at the ministry of agriculture, said that under the relevant law thousands of hectares of protected nature reserves should have been returned to the state earlier. But to date this land remains “expropriated”, the daily Napi Gazdasag said on Wednesday.
A document obtained by the paper shows that there are 1,137 hectares of protected land in the Szigetkoz island plain in north-western Hungary alone that should have been handed back. Most of the cooperatives themselves are now privately owned as they have been acquired by foreign corporations and individuals.
Nagy told the paper the situation was “outrageous” and has called for an investigation. Entities which are found to be in possession of protected land will have to return the land to the National Land Fund, he said, referring to land currently jointly owned by Hungarians and Austrians.
Legislation prescribes that land owned by cooperatives in the communist era should have been returned to state ownership after the transition to democracy.
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