Parliament passes controversial land bill 01.04.2016 15:15 The Polish lower house of parliament has passed a controversial bill which will make it harder for foreigners to buy state-owned land. The bill specifies that state-owned agricultural land can be purchased solely by registered farmers, or residents of the municipality who can personally manage 300 ha of agricultural land.
According to the adopted amendments to the bill, local churches and religious associations will also be able acquire land.
The bill was partly conceived to make it harder for foreign companies to purchase Polish land.
“We want to protect Polish land and stand up for farmer rights,” Deputy Agriculture Minister Zbigniew Babalski said in the discussions which preceded the vote, and following a heated discussion with the opposition earlier in March.
He added that farmers’ protest set in motion such a bill, and that despite a 12-year moratorium banning the sale of Polish land to foreigners, non-Polish residents have purchased some 200,000 hectares of land in recent years.
“Is this not an alarm bell to secure this land for the people?,” Babalski asked.
A total of 233 MPs voted in favour of the bill, with 195 voting against, and 18 abstentions. - See more at: www.thenews.pl/1/9/Artykul/247006,Parliament-passes-controversial-land-bill#sthash.5jlpva5R.dpuf