Where's the money? Farming subsidy exposure creates stir in EU Parliament

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By Sandor Zsiros
Where's the money? Farming subsidy exposure creates stir in EU Parliament
Copyright  MTI/Sóki Tamás

An article in the New York Times has sparked a stir for the European Parliament's Committee on Agriculture.

According to the report, the European Union's agricultural subsidies are not reaching their intended destination, but rather populist politicians and their business circles.

"Europe’s farm program, a system that was instrumental in forming the European Union, is now being exploited by the same antidemocratic forces that threaten the bloc from within," the article reads.

Reaction was not in short supply.

"When the founding fathers sat down and created the idea of ​​the European Union, nobody thought that there would be governments that simply steal the money. Well, this has to be rethought somehow in future,"said Attila Ara-Kovács, MEP for the social democrat Democratic Coalition from Hungary.

Dacian Ciolos, leader of the Renew Europe group and former EU commissioner, argued that smaller farms should be funded instead of large companies.

"It's increasingly difficult to explain to people why big money is needed to support the biggest businessmen. And it's not the problem of giving money, but why we are giving public money unconditionally," Ciolos said.

The Hungarian government and Fidesz representatives say the article is a disgrace to the New York Times.

French National Rally MEP Gilles Lebreton lent his voice to that perspective, saying he suspects that George Soros is involved.

"We have to be careful with this article. It touches a real problem, but I think this is a retaliatory response from George Soros, who is behind the New York Times," Lebreton said.

The matter may be put on the agenda of the Committee on Agriculture at a later stage.