The government has decided to maintain the cap on the price of petrol, the prime minister’s chief of staff said late on Thursday.
Gergely Gulyás said the government measures, including a cap on interest paid on loans, utility bills, and the price of several basic foods, were aimed at reining in inflation and protecting families from the impact of rising energy prices. Gulyás dismissed allegations that the government was unable to maintain the fuels cap or that fuel supplies were in jeopardy, saying supplies were continuous, though “there are difficulties in some places due to increased demand”.
Oil and gas company MOL is able to meet all domestic demand through its refinery in Százhalombatta,
south of Budapest, he said. The has government passed three decrees to ensure maintenance of the fuel cap which took effect on Thursday evening.
According to the decrees, vehicles over 7.5 tonnes and vehicles over 3.5 tonnes with foreign number plates will pay market prices at high pressure pumps.
A price cap of 480 forints per litre will continue to apply to motorists filling up passenger cars and vehicles under 7.5 tonnes, as well as operators of farm machinery, he added.
The changes may cause queues at high-pressure pumps, and the government has ordered
the usual weekend lorry ban to be extended for the March 15 national holiday,
lasting from 10pm on Friday until 10pm on Tuesday.
Gulyás noted consumption had increased in recent days due to “petrol tourism”, increased transit and panic buying. MOL will have enough capacity to ensure fuels supplies at wholesale prices in the coming weeks and months, if “speculative” purchasing is reined in, he added.
He said the government also decided on a reduction of 20 forints per litre in the excise tax on vehicle fuel, and has instructed the police to take action against anyone who spreads disinformation concerning fuel supplies and the vehicle price cap. Anyone filling containers “unfit for carrying fuels”, putting themselves or others at risk, will also be prosecuted, he added.
asked teachers to consider staying away from recently announced strike action or to postpone it.
The government agrees with the demands of teachers and is in negotiations with the European Commission with a view to making use of “several hundred billion forints” for pay hikes of “at least three times 10 percent”, he said, adding that the government was open to further talks with the sector. At the same time, the government “must also consider the interests of students and their parents,” he said.
He called a recent decision by the union of railway engineers to drop strike plans and resume talks with the government “a responsible move”.