The Independent newspaper says that across Hungary and much of central and eastern Europe, the bulk of farm subsidies goes to a connected and powerful few. The prime minister of the Czech Republic collected tens of millions of dollars in subsidies and subsidies have underwritten Mafia-style land grabs in Slovakia and Bulgaria.
It says a New York Times investigation, conducted in nine countries for much of 2019, found that the subsidy system undermined the EU’s environmental goals and was warped by corruption and self-dealing.
In Hungary, Viktor Orban’s government has auctioned off thousands of acres of state land to his family members and close associates, including one childhood friend who has become one of the richest men in the country. Those who control the land, in turn, qualify for millions in subsidies from the EU.
- OECD: Agriculture subsidies ineffective, or harm, food system
- Status of EU sustainable agriculture goals
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