The Lithuanian parliament on Thursday did not back Gitanas Nauseda's proposal to discard a bill placing restrictions on forest land acquisitions, marking the first time MPs have overturned the new president's veto.
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In a vote of 90 to eight, the Seimas readopted the amendments, first passed in late July, that cap the amount of forest land that one owner or a group of related owners can purchase at 1.5 hectares.

Nauseda proposed to leave in place the existing legislation that places no restrictions on forest land purchases.

According to Andriejus Stancikas, the head of the Seimas Committee on Rural Affairs, Lithuania has a cap on arable land purchases and should apply the same principle on forest land, too.

"Because we are seeing an increasing trend of large businesses acquiring very large areas (of forest land)," he said.

Liberal MP Eugenijus Gentvilas, a member of the Committee on Economics, said the parliament ignores the difference between agricultural farming were crops are harvested every year and forestry where yields depend on the maturity of trees and are harvested every 60, 80 or even 100 years.

Kazys Starkevicius, a member of the Committee on Rural Affairs, said around 10 persons in Lithuania currently own more than 1,500 hectares of forest land.

BNS
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