Bulgaria Farmers Rise against Sale of State Land as Anti-Crisis Measure
Bulgaria’s Association of Agricultural Producers has slammed the government for preparing to sell fallow state-owned lands to raise badly needed cash.
The Bulgarian state currently owns about 1,3 million decares of unused land, and has decided to sell 10% of it, and to lease the other 90% in order to raise about BGN 160 M as part of an overall anti-crisis plan of 59 measures approved by the business sector and the trade unions.
“This anti-crisis measure will lead to the change of status of hundreds of thousands of decares of fertile land. These plots are strategically important for Bulgaria. The state should confiscate the plots from the notorious land-swap deals and sell them,” declared Ivaylo Todorov, Chief Secretary of the farmers’ association.
In his words, there is a trend in the EU to increase the share of state owned land. The farmers are afraid that once sold, the plots will be in the hands of private investors who can change their status and the state will give up any means of control.
Even though the anti-crisis measure in question was approved by the parent organization of one of the two major trade unions, the Confederation of Independent Bulgarian Syndicates, the Federation of Independent Syndicates in Agricultural, which is technically a part of the Confederation, has supported the Agricultural Producers’ Association in its opposition to the sale of state-owned land.
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