Budapest, December 2 (MTI) – The opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) party’s deputy leader said on Friday that utility bills in Hungary were high not because of Brussels but because of the policies of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
Csaba Molnár told a news conference that over the past five years the price of natural gas on the world market had declined by over 40 percent. He insisted that the government had only cut the average utility bill by 10 percent. As a result, the average Hungarian household paid 20-25 percent more for their gas than they should. He added that DK regarded the mechanism whereby the authorities set the price to be a good one in principle, but it should at least follow price trends on the world market.
He said that it was not the case that the European Commission would mandate the abolishment of energy price setting by the authorities, since it was only the European Council that could make such a decision of approval, for which Orbán’s vote would be necessary.
In response, ruling Fidesz said that while in power, it had been ex-premier Ferenc Gyurcsány and the Socialists who “put the Hungarian people at the mercy of foreign utility companies” which repatriated over one trillion forints from Hungary while “Hungarians paid” the highest energy prices as compared to their wages and salaries.
Fidesz said that the gas price had tripled and the electricity price doubled during Gyurcsány’s term in office.
Gyurcsány headed Hungary’s Socialist-liberal government from 2004 to 2009.