Zagreb - Parliament on Friday adopted a new Farmland Act, of which Croatian farmers expect a lot, with 78 votes in favour, 49 against and three abstentions.
The new law introduces the principle of domicile. State-owned farmland will be primarily allocated to local farmers, family farms, micro and small enterprises, cattle breeders lacking land, young farmers, and lessees who realised economic programmes and honoured contracts.
The new law returns the power to manage state-owned farmland to towns and municipalities, shutting down the agency established for that purpose. Local government will advertise lease or sale applications and the state prosecution, after five years, will again be included in overseeing the procedure.
State-owned farmland can be leased for 25 years and the lease can be extended for another 25 if the tenants realise the economic programmes based on which they have been given land.
Agriculture Ministry state secretary Tugomir Majdak said a ban on selling farmland to foreigners was in force until 2020 and that the ministry would apply for extending it until 2023.
Parliament also adopted the Gas Market Act, aimed at providing for quality and lasting gas supplies for the next three years, a deadline the European Commission gave Croatia to align with European gas market rules.
Also adopted was the Consumer Protection National Programme for the 2017-20 period. (Hina)