5 March 2021
The Hungarian Minister for Agriculture published a statement regarding the Greens/EFA report on irregularities around CAP subsidies in five Central European Countries, titled “Where does the EU money go?”, calling it a “tsunami of lies”. In fact, the statement does not deny any of the facts published in the report. The Minister’s statement clearly shows that the Fidesz-KDNP government is living in a separate realm of reality and confuses family farms with the families of oligarchs.
The statement depicts a typical Fidesz propagandistic image of the Hungarian agricultural system in which agricultural policies support smallholders and family farms instead of big industrial farming businesses. This political message helped Fidesz gain power in 2010. However, shortly after winning the elections, it became clear that this was only propaganda. Hungarian farmers remember the story of the former State Secretary, professor József Ángyán, who was a real supporter of smallholders, and whose rural development programme was deleted from every governmental portal, and whose university institute, the Institute for Agri-environmental Farming was reduced to ashes out of revenge against him protesting the government’s agricultural policies. József Ángyán shed light on the real nature of the agricultural politics of Fidesz, namely renting and selling state-owned land to oligarchs instead of farmers that actually farm the land.
"The statements of Mr Nagy do not contradict a single sentence of our study” – said Viola von Cramon-Taubadel, Member of the European Parliament who is responsible for the study. She continued: „Even though the majority of the Rural Development Programme goes to small and medium farmers, this is only a fraction of the CAP as a whole. The study points out clearly that the top 10% of the beneficiaries have received over 77% of all funds. These inequalities are ruining the local communities. Moreover, this generates mistrust regarding the EU funds. Those disparities create an even more dysfunctional land market. It is not an attack against Hungarian farmers as such, but rather on the opposite, this study points out the problems which hinder the opportunities and developments of the Hungarian farmers. With the Study we would like to show the close connections of some of the politicians (or their relatives and friends) who are benefiting from the EU funds through the direct payments of the EU. This is not what the CAP was made for."
The report released by the Greens/EFA Group demonstrates how land grabbing in Hungary has been executed by the Fidesz-KDNP government, and how oligarchs have been elevated into becoming the largest landowners in the country. Calling this process ‘supporting family farms’ is crystal clear evidence that in the realm of reality Fidesz operates in ‘family farms’ equals the families of agricultural oligarchs.
Greens deny this false depiction of the situation. We believe CAP subsidies should support the agro-ecological transition instead of big, industrial farms and oligarchs. Public money should finance public interests instead of a few political beneficiaries. The moment of truth revealing where the Fidesz-KDNP government stands will come when it supports the proposal of the European Parliament of maximising subsidies at €100.000 per owner/holding in the CAP at the Council of the EU.
Erzsébet Schmuck, Co-Chair of LMP – Hungary’s Green Party
Thomas Waitz, Co-Chair of the European Greens, Member of the European Parliament
Viola von Cramon-Taubadel, Member of the European Parliament
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