Budapest, December 17 (MTI) – In the course of auctioning off state farmland, the government has “betrayed the country for the sake of a couple of hundred families,” green opposition LMP party lawmaker said on Thursday.

Government statements on the issue of farmland sales following a ruling by the Constitutional Court annulling certain passages of the law are not congruent with the court’s position, Benedek Sallai told a press conference.

The court ruled that revenue from farmland auctions cannot be used by the government for general developments.

Government office chief Janos Lazar has said the revenue will be used to set up industrial parks in cities with county rights. Sallai said this would be unconstitutional. The law on the land fund clearly states that the revenue from farmland sales must only be used for land purchases serving the country’s farm policy, he added.

Sallai said the state would act as a speculator selling and buying farmland in light of Farm Minister Sandor Fazekas’s statement that revenue for land purchases would be used for such purposes. Furthermore, the revenue is not sufficient to buy the same amount of farmland as that being sold, so in the long term the community’s assets would be depleted, he added.

He noted that government commissioner Laszlo L Simon’s wife has purchased farmland for 600,000 forint (EUR 1,900) per hectare in an area where the price is normally 3 million forints per hectare. In some other cases, people linked to government members have been able to buy farmland despite not being local residents, he insisted.

Source: http://mtva.hu/hu/hungary-matters

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