Issue of Land Ownership Continues in Slovakia
- New Europe Investor
- September 01, 2015
Concern in Slovakia continues as more and more foreigners flock to the country to buy up the country’s agricultural land.
There is growing discontent in the country from farmers as foreigners continue to purchase quality farmland leading to Slovak farmers losing the most fertile sites.
Prime Minister, Robert Fico wants to prevent the trend, despite the European Commission writing to the government earlier in the year to ask questions about the practices already preventing many foreign investors from buying in the country.
He said that Slovaks have ‘a right to protect themselves’ against the uncompetitive nature of foreign land acquisition in the country, and intends to take the dispute to the European Commission.
It is estimated that foreigners own 100,000 to 150,000 hectares of agricultural land in Slovakia, representing approximately 10% of the total stock.
There is concern that the nature of small farms in the country gives foreign investors a competitive advantage that most Slovakian farmers cannot compete with.
One farmer was quoted in a Slovakian newspaper as saying that foreign entrepreneurs sweep up many small parcels of land in a given area, create a company and consolidate the land. They then sell it off at a considerable profit.
Many other EU accession countries are experiencing a similar trend of foreign investors sweeping up arable land seeking profit.