Hungary’s parliament on Monday adopted a political declaration to defend a set of utility price cuts introduced in several stages since the start of the year, with additional cuts promised.
The Fidesz party, which holds a two-thirds majority in parliament, easily passed the non-binding declaration. On the oposition The Movements for a Better Hungary (Jobbik) voted the declaration, most of the left-wing opposition abstained from the voting.
The declaration charged that between 2002 and 2010 (when the left wing was in office) gas prices were increased 15 times, while electric power fees went up 9 times, adding that when compared to incomes, Hungarian consumers pay one of the highest rates in the European Union.
The EU has indicated that it has questions regarding the current administration’s rate reductions, sparking a heated response from the government. The administration has charged that the EU bureaucracy was trying to pressure Hungary to repeal the government-mandated price declines although the EU has made no such intentions public. Instead, it seems to be concerned over higher prices for the same services being charged to businesses and lower ones to residents.
“Hungary’s parliament considers this (the EU) measure to be a step in support of the (private) utility companies and it flatly rejects it,” the declaration reads.
“Hungary’s parliament calls on the executive government not to give in to the pressure of the European Union bureaucracy and to defend the rights of the people guaranteed by the constitution and continue to reduce utility prices,” the document concludes.