Bulgarian Socialist Party to propose new restrictions on foreigners owning farmland

Bulgarian Socialist Party to propose new restrictions on foreigners owning farmland

In spite of the Constitutional Court having thrown out a parliamentary resolution seeking an extension on the moratorium on the sale of land to foreigners, the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) is trying a new route – this time proposing that natural and legal persons must have been in Bulgaria for at least three years before being allowed to buy agricultural land.

The Constitutional Court rejected the late 2013 parliamentary resolution because it was in breach of the constitution and of Bulgaria’s European Union membership treaty that provided for the moratorium on the sale of land to foreigners to expire as of January 1 2014.

BSP MP Svetla Buchvarova told reporters on February 12 that the proposal would be tabled as amendments to legislation on agricultural land ownership and use.

According to BSP MP Yanaki Stoilov, the bill would “solve two problems”.

The first was “how to ensure the farmers a real opportunity to use the pastures” and the other “how to create certain requirements for the acquisition of agricultural land that are within conditions acceptable to the EU”.

“For this reason we are proposing that ownership of agricultural land and forest land for agricultural use be acquired by natural and legal persons who have resided continuously in the Republic of Bulgaria for more than three years immediately preceding the year of the transaction,” Stoilov said.