The Money Farmers: How Oligarchs and Populists Milk the E.U. for Millions - The New York Times
The European Union spends $65 billion a year subsidizing agriculture. But a chunk of that money emboldens strongmen, enriches politicians and finances corrupt dealing.
Every year, the 28-country bloc pays out $65 billion in farm subsidies intended to support farmers around the Continent and keep rural communities alive. But across Hungary and much of Central and Eastern Europe, the bulk goes to a connected and powerful few. The prime minister of the Czech Republic collected tens of millions of dollars in subsidies just last year. Subsidies have underwritten Mafia-style land grabs in Slovakia and Bulgaria.[...]
A New York Times investigation, conducted in nine countries for much of 2019, uncovered a subsidy system that is deliberately opaque, grossly undermines the European Union’s environmental goals and is warped by corruption and self-dealing.