Border lands for sale

  • 2011-09-28
  • From wire reports

TALLINN - Foreigners who permanently live in Estonia can soon get the right to buy land in border areas too, which currently is forbidden due to state defense considerations, reports National Broadcasting.

According to the current law, non-citizens who live in Estonia can buy only apartments in places like Narva or Sillamae, while they cannot buy private houses and land units in gardening cooperatives. The situation might change when the law amendment that reaches the Riigikogu next week grants foreigners permanently living in Estonia land purchase rights in border areas.
The change concerns just 0.2 hectare plots but, like the author of the amendments, Center Party MP Mihhail Stalnuhhin claims, it enables solving the problems of hundreds of gardening cooperative plots which grow wild now. He said that in Narva, the number of Estonian citizens form 40 percent of the population, meaning that the rest of the town’s residents cannot own land there. There are several dozen gardening cooperatives near Narva and thus, there are potentially hundreds, or thousands, of people who would benefit from the change.

The Riigikogu rural life committee has supported Stalnuhhin’s proposal. “The support is to Estonian residents with long-term residence permits who lack citizenship, or are citizens of some third state; they will have in the future the possibility of buying plots amounting to 0.2 hectares without restrictions,” said the committee’s member, Pro Patria and Res Publica Union representative Indrek Raudne.