SOFIA, Oct 24 (Reuters) - Bulgaria will reconsider a decision to extend until 2020 a ban on European investors buying arable land and it will abide by its commitments to the European Union, Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski said on Thursday.
Bulgaria's parliament voted on Tuesday to extend the moratorium on arable land purchases despite warnings from Brussels that it would result in a review of Bulgaria's accession treaty.
"The decision was a result of political emotion, it was not rational. We will find a way to review it," Oresharski said in a statement from Brussels, where he was due to meet European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso on Friday.
"We will obviously now discuss the moratorium," he said.
Under its accession treaty, Bulgaria's moratorium on EU citizens' purchase of arable land is due to expire on Jan. 1 next year, seven years after it joined the bloc, and any violation of the accord could trigger possibly heavy fines.
The motion to extend the ban, proposed by the nationalist Attack party, has split the ruling Socialist-led coalition.
The motion passed with the help of Socialist deputies who fear that low land prices in the EU's poorest member state could trigger a surge in foreign purchases of land and price domestic farmers out of the market.
Economists branded the move as damaging to Bulgaria's image among foreign investors, already tarnished by rampant graft.
Foreigners can currently acquire land in Bulgaria through a registered Bulgarian company. (Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova, editing by Gareth Jones)