Slovakia is seriously concerned about the plans of the Hungarian government of Viktor Orbán in the surrounding states. She has set aside huge sums of money to buy arable land in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. This would mean that farmers from Hungary would have the opportunity to buy fertile land in Slovakia from state funds.
Photo: TASR, Jaroslav Novák
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán
The head of diplomacy, Ivan Korčok, expressed Slovakia’s reluctance to meet with the Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Péter Szijjártó, who was visiting Bratislava. “We asked Hungary to do its government programs, which extend to Slovakia or are implemented on our territory, by mutual agreement and agreement,” Korčok emphasized in a joint press conference with Szijjartó. He clearly indicated that he did not like it when he learned about some Hungarian activities in Slovakia only from the media, not in an official way. In this context, they also point to the intention to buy Slovak arable land.
Check Korčok’s comments on the diplomatic treaty’s reservations: “We will continue through all possible channels, and in our interest relations between the two countries are being strengthened. We are ready to implement support in such a framework that it is necessary both for Slovaks in Hungary and for Hungarians in Slovakia. “
The Hungarian government has decided to create a Private Capital Fund for arable land. “The aim is to buy arable land in Central and Eastern Europe, thus laying the foundations for the international expansion of domestic agricultural holdings,” the resolution said.
The government needs to pour up to 400 million euros into the fund. Hungary is bordered by seven countries (Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Austria, Croatia and Slovenia). If relatively only seven sums of money went to the purchase of arable land in Slovakia, it would cost more than 57 million euros. To illustrate: for example, in the Nitra and Trnava regions, the average price of land of good creditworthiness ranges from 5,000 to 7,000 euros per hectare. Around 9,000 hectares of fertile land in Slovakia could be bought for 57 million euros.
However, it would certainly need more arable land. The interest is mainly focused on Slovakia, among other things because in neighboring Austria the price of arable land is private for Hungarian entrepreneurs.
Szijjártó was instructed by a government decree to ensure that the conditions and requirements necessary for the operation and registration of the capital fund were ensured. At the same time, the government called on him to take steps by mid-November this year leading to the selection of the management fund and the capital fund established through it, with a framework volume of EUR 400 million. With 70 percent of the amount in forints, equivalent to 280 million euros, provided by Hungary at the expense of the state budget.
Romania has already intervened. What will Slovakia do?
Some time ago, Romania had already adopted protection legislation related to arable land. Bucharest must be subject to a five-year residency in Romania and agribusiness for foreigners wishing to buy land in fertile areas.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Samuel Vlčan indicated that Slovakia is also taking some measures. “In the context of good relations, any cross-border support should be provided only with the knowledge and consent of the State in whose territory the assistance comes. I believe that Hungary will also return to this decent diplomatic practice. We consider Slovak land to be our national wealth and national heritage, the protection of which we will support and strengthen in legislation in these turbulent times, “Vlčan pointed out.
Peter Weiss, the former ambassador of the Slovak Republic to Hungary, also reacted with concern to the plans of the Orbán government. “These activities of the Hungarian government in the territory of the Slovak Republic are perceived as one of the elements of fulfilling the concept of uniting the Hungarian nation across borders. They create institutional and legal ties between the Hungarian state and members of Hungarian national minorities in the Carpathian Basin. The state decided to consider the Hungarian minorities in the area as a state-building factor. National policy has changed to national integration, “said Weiss, who served as ambassador to Budapest from 2009 to 2013.
He went on to say that he wanted to assign “Hungary on the border” to Hungary. He pointed out that the then head of Hungarian diplomacy, Zsolt Németh, already in 2000 formulated the meaning of this concept as “the whole of Hungary has the trauma of Trianon” and Slovakia could be a session on which it can be proved that there is a solution.
Weiss also recalled one quote from Orbán: “We will reunite the Hungarian nation beyond the borders. Because the future knows no bounds. “
The first attempt to exercise the jurisdiction of the Hungarian state on the territory of other states was the so-called expatriate law passed in 2001, added Weiss. He emphasized that the Democrat Democrat Tamás Bauer had already called the concept “soft irredentism”, “irredentism without territorial reservations”.
“This was followed by a search for the Forum of Hungarian Deputies of the Carpathian Basin, in which deputies of Hungarian nationality elected in the Carpathian Basin met on the premises of the Hungarian Parliament,” Weiss clarified.