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Jobbik’s “treason-stunt” still on the agenda

June 25th, 2013

Right-wing columnists continue to express disdain for far-right MPs who occupied the Speaker’s rostrum and repeatedly chanted the word “traitors,” while Parliament was voting on the new Land Act on Friday 21 June. A left-wing commentator calls for an immediate tax on leased arable land.

In the latest development in the scandal, Parliament Speaker László Kövér withdrew the entry permits of Jobbik staff members because they were also involved, alongside Jobbik MPs, in the spectacular action on Friday. (See BudaPost, June 22) They could not reach their offices on Monday.

In Magyar Hírlap, editor István Stefka condemns extremist minorities who try to compensate for their lack of popular support by staging violent and aggressive stunts. He sees spectacular demonstrations held in Parliament as a sign of political impotence on the part of both left-liberal and green MPs on the one hand and far right deputies on the other. “How long can Parliament tolerate such atrocities in the Assembly Hall?” he asks, and warns that “hatred is a bad counsellor”.

In Magyar Nemzet, Zoltán Dénes recalls that the demonstrations against the Land Act, meant to be nationwide, were attended by a mere 70 to 80 people. Most farmers, he believes, understand that the law is on their side, as arable land can only be sold to local resident farmers. In other words Jobbik’s claim that the government is selling out the land to foreigners is untrue. The law barring foreigners from buying land in Hungary, has been kept in place under a special derogation agreement with the European Union, which will expire in April next year. That is why, he explains, a new law had to be passed.

In Népszabadság, Gábor Tamás admits that the new law is meant to bring land property and land use closer together. At present most of the 200 thousand producers pay high rents to the two and a half million land owners, and the rent is higher than the agricultural subsidy they get from the European Union. Tamás suggests Parliament should impose a tax on arable land and exempt those who cultivate their own. The problem is, he thinks, that the land owners who get high and untaxed incomes from Hungary’s farmers, have a strong lobby in Parliament.

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