Bulgaria's top court revokes ban on arable land sales

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Bulgaria’s top court has revoked a ban on selling arable land to investors from the EU. It said Parliament had breached basic constitutional principles when it had voted to extend the moratorium until 2020 from 2013.

In October an overwhelming majority of lawmakers – 171 to 38 voted in favour of denying investors the chance of buying arable land in the country until 2020. The ultra nationalist anti-EU party Ataka had proposed the move.

The ban had been due to expire at the end of 2013 and the European Commission had warned that any extension would breach Bulgaria’s commitment to lift it.

MPs had the backing of protesters who claimed 70 percent of the population wanted to deny investors the chance of buying up land.

Potential buyers they said had much higher incomes than the average Bulgarian

Foreigners have been allowed to acquire land in the Black Sea state through Bulgarian-registered companies since the country joined the EU in 2007.

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