EU subsidies embolden strongmen, enrich politicians and finance corrupt dealing
Central and Eastern European countries allocate EU farming subsidies in a way that emboldens strongmen, enriches politicians and finances corrupt dealing, writes The New York Times. Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán is the prime example of someone who misuses subsidies to build his own power base. In Czechia, PM Andrej Babiš is the largest recipient of farming subsidies. In Slovakia, the Italian mafia has been collecting subsidies for many years. Well-connected farmers formed an “agricultural mafia” here that deprived small farmers of their land. Smaller farmers are being pushed out of the market in other CEE countries too.