Hungary's 48 most underdeveloped regions will receive funds in 2006 under the European Union LEADER+ program exceeding those received over the past 15 years, Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány said at a conference in Parliament on Monday.The subsidy available under the EU's rural development program stands at Ft 9 billion, which is Ft 3 billion more than previously targeted funds, Gyurcsány told the conference announcing the winners of the program.
The LEADER+ program was started in the 1990s to prevent impoverishment of rural areas within the EU. Projects have since been underway in 1,200 micro regions, financed through a bidding system.
In the second part of the LEADER+ program, 67 small regions won more than Ft 6 billion from resources from the Operative Program for Agricultural and Rural Development (AVOP) to realize local goals. For the originally available Ft 5 billion, 186 groups of communities submitted applications for a combined Ft 17 billion. The winning applications will go to some 1,000 villages with a combined 1.5 million residents. Minister of Agriculture József Gráf said farming subsidies will amount to Ft 400.3 billion in 2006, 23% more than in 2005.