Hungary ‘Must Maintain Utility Price Cuts’

Hungary must defend the achievements of its public utility cost reduction scheme, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said.

In a regular interview with public broadcaster Kossuth Radio, the prime minister said Brussels wanted to raise electricity and fuel prices on the grounds of fighting climate change. Brussels wants to introduce “a complex system” to tax families with cars and homes but the Visegrad Group countries are resisting such a step and will not approve at next week’s European Union summit any decision that would raise electricity and gas prices, he said. Orbán said that though it was important to fight climate change, its costs should be borne by the world’s top emitting companies rather than households. This, he said, required an energy price regulatory framework and the elimination of speculative elements, and warned that “when we allow money into areas where it has no place … there will always be a problem.” Orbán said the previous Socialist-liberal governments had given multinational energy companies permission to raise prices about 15 times, adding that the leftist opposition in parliament “is again demanding that the government introduce market prices for gas and electricity”.


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