“Brussels is attacking the Hungarian Land Act, which has been in force since 2014, in the interests of protecting foreign speculators”, the Ministry of Agriculture wrote in response to the ruling issued by the Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg.

On Tuesday, the body ruled that the Hungarian legal stipulation included in the 2013 Land Act that terminated usufruct rights for citizens of other member states with relation to Hungarian farmland was unlawful. “As a result, Hungary has not fulfilled its commitments resulting from the principle of the free flow of capital and with relation to the right to property”, the Court wrote.

In its statement, the Ministry underlined that the Government is doing everything possible to protect Hungarian farmland and Hungarian farmers, because Hungarian farmland must be kept in Hungarian hands, and it must be protected from foreign speculators. The Ministry of agriculture promises to examine the ruling and exploit all possible legal opportunities to assure that farming may only be performed in Hungary in accordance to the law, and not by exploiting loopholes in the regulations. It also stands behind the farmers’ petition, which declares that the fact that Brussels wants to spend even more on migrants through reducing agricultural funding is unacceptable.

The statement points out that the Hungarian legislation restricts the acquisition and use of farmland by foreign nationals in a similar manner to several other EU member states, putting an end to left-wing liberal land policy that gave up national interests and enabled Hungarian farmland to be bought up by speculators through concealed contracts. The Act has saved hundreds of thousands of hectares from falling into the hands of speculators thanks to the moratorium on the purchasing of farmland by foreigners, the Ministry wrote.