Budapest, December 3 (MTI) – Giving the Hungarian Energy and Utilities Regulatory Office (MEKH) legislative rights could be the way to protect Hungary from attempts by Brussels to eliminate government-fixed energy pricing, deputy leader of the ruling Fidesz party Szilárd Németh said on Saturday.
A related law on MEKH’s right to issue decrees in the areas of gas and electricity supply will be put for a vote in Parliament next week, Németh told a press conference. Without such a law, the EU could easily “strip the Hungarian people of their chance to continue lowering utility bills,” he said. Wihtout price regulation on these markets service providers would run amok with price increases and transfer all costs to the consumer, he added.
The Fidesz government had frozen energy prices in 2010 and electricty prices rose by only 2.2 percent in 2010-2012 while the price of gas rose by 9.7 percent in this period, which is “well below inflation,” Németh said.
He added that utility bill cuts are part of Hungary’s sovereignity, which “cannot be ignored by the European Union”.
The Hungarian government will not allow Brussels to interfere with the decision-making of the authorities over energy prices, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said earlier, insisting that competition in the energy sector did not lead to lower prices due to “all sorts of backroom deals”.