Land-grabbing in Hungary
Land for Local farmers?
State-owned land is being swallowed up in Hungary by corporations while farmers are prevented from creating a livelihood for themselves and their communities, delegates heard last week in Budapest. Green MEP Jose Bové attended the "Land for Local Famers" conference co-sponsored by Greens/EFA group and the Hungarian Greens, the LMP. There he spoke out about the importance of food sovereignty and the unfair treatment that Hungarian farmers face, from land acquisition to allocation of funds.
Land grabbing has already begun in Hungary. An oligarchy with connections to the ruling FIDESZ conservative party is developing a monopoly and speculating on farming lands according to former vice-secretary of rural affairs and FIDESZ deputy, Jozsef Angyan, who resigned earlier this year in protest. These lands which could provide livelihoods for thousands of people are instead being swallowed up by agricultural speculation with the resulting social and unemployment problems for rural villages. The government is causing a rural collapse that will be felt in the cities if the unemployed join the ranks of those seeking work there. According to Jose Bove, an untenable situation has developed with hundreds of large companies receiving the CAP subsidies totalling the same amount as what 140,000 smaller farmers receive. Every country has the right to food-sovereignty and every state has the right to provide its inhabitants with food however the government's policies are completely unsustainable, he recalled.
The Green MEP, LMP MP Rebeka Szaboand other activists visited the small village of Kajaszo on the 4th October and symbolically reclaimed farmland that had been dubiously leased by a corporation with FIDESZ connections. This same coporation had won almost all of the applications in the region. What is needed now is real reform in Hungary and of the CAP that truly supports farmers rather than corporations.