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Farmland subsidy decision was legal, says EU court

The European Union Court of Justice said on Thursday that the European Council had not breached treaties by allowing Hungary the right to an extension of farmland subsidies. The European Commission was wrong to attack the Council's decision on the ground that it was no longer justifiable economically for the state to be allowed to subsidise Hungarian farmers' land purchases, Paolo Mengozzi, the court's Advocate General, said in a legal opinion. Mengozzi said the Council's decision to grant Hungary's request for an extension until December 31, 2013 had been in line with the EU's basic treaty. Hungary was allowed to provide the land purchase subsidies to its farmers until December 31, 2009.