The alliance of local governments MÖSZ (Magyar Önkormányzatok Szövetsége) is calling for a national energy summit to be held before the start of the heating season with a view to working out a solution to rising energy prices.
Addressing a press conference on Thursday, Gödöllő Mayor György Gémesi, who heads MÖSZ, said the summit should involve energy experts, service providers, as well as local council and government representatives. He also said MÖSZ wants the government to introduce an energy price cap for localities that will allow them to operate their institutions until 15 April.
In response to a question, Gémesi said rising energy prices were bringing in “enormous revenues” for the central budget. “We’d like … a part of that in the interest of our security,” he said.
Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony, a co-leader of the alliance, said MÖSZ was calling for the energy summit so that local councils, the government and energy sector players could agree on a solution that will ensure the provision of public services.
The energy market is currently “extremely unpredictable”, he said, adding that a cap on the price of energy would restore security for a brief period.
Karácsony said MÖSZ encouraged the government to take on an active role in finding a joint European solution to rising energy prices. He added, however, that Hungary’s problems would not be as severe had it invested more in renewable energy and energy efficiency over the last ten years.
Meanwhile, asked about Hungary’s new abortion rules making abortion conditional on the mother listening to the fetus’s heartbeat, Karácsony said: “Without going into this deep ideological and worldview debate, I think people are rightfully upset.” The Budapest city council is prepared to cooperate with the government on programmes aimed at reducing unwanted pregnancies, he said.