Budapest, January 10 (MTI) – Given that the price for gas on the world market in the past 4-5 years has declined by 40 percent, the government should take action to ensure this decrease is passed on to Hungarian consumers, the managing director of the opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) party said on Tuesday.
Csaba Molnár told a news conference that the government had reduced household utility bills but the price of household energy had gone down by only 10 percent, while “oligarchs” close to the ruling Fidesz party had “pocketed” a large part of the difference.
In other European Union countries it is normal for fluctuations in wholesale prices on the global market to feed into domestic retail prices, he noted.
Molnár also accused the government of irresponsibility for having allowed gas reserves in the country to fall below 20 percent of storage capacity amid the current cold snap. DK had warned last autumn that reserves were running dangerously low, he added.
Szilárd Neméth, Fidesz’s deputy group leader, told a press conference that people now paid 25-30 percent less for heating than before 2010. He insisted that Fidesz’s Socialist governing predecessor had increased retail energy prices 15 times between 2002 and 2010, tripling the price of gas and doubling that of electricity.
“If it was for them, no matter how cold it is, the prices would continue creeping up,” Németh said. “There is nothing new in the left wing being against utility price cuts. The scheme has to be protected against Brussels bureaucracy and pseudo-civil organisations financed by US financier George Soros”, he said.