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Slovakia wants to keep the land

Staff writer |
The Slovak government approved a bill strictly regulating the sale of agricultural land in Slovakia, local news agency TASR reported.

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"The bill states that the acquirer must be legally resident in the Slovak Republic for at least 10 years," Minister of Agriculture Lubomir Jahnatek said.

According to the bill, owners who are about to sell agricultural plots of more than 20 acres will have to offer the land to local and national agricultural entities before it can be sold to European buyers, added Jahnatek.

The bill follows an expiring moratorium on selling agricultural land to foreigners, implemented in Slovakia since the European Union (EU) membership on May 1, 2004. In 2011, the EU approved Slovakia's request to prolong the moratorium by three years to April 30, 2014.

The Slovak Agriculture Ministry has said it wants to protect agricultural land in Slovakia from speculative deals. In the past, plots originally sold as agricultural land had their status subsequently changed to that of construction plots.

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