A pro-government commentator hopes that a new programme funded by the European Union will finally halt the progressive depopulation of rural Hungary.
In Napi Gazdaság, Zoltán Dénes welcomes the approval by the European Commission of a rural development programme submitted by the Hungarian government to be financed by the EU. The decision comes as critics accuse the government of not even pondering how to save rural Hungary from depopulation (See BudaPost, August 11). 46 per cent of Hungarians still live in rural areas, despite what Dénes calls efforts by past left-liberal governments to “squeeze them” into urban zones representing just over half a per cent of Hungary’s surface. Forty per cent of the 1300 billion forints to be allotted to rural development over the next five years will be devoted to investment projects, mainly in labour intensive sectors like fruit and vegetable production, horticulture and food processing. Funds will also be allocated to community building and environmental protection. Dénes hopes that “for once” this programme will not be used by the cronies of those in power to enrich themselves but to help invigorate rural Hungary.