A lawmaker of opposition Jobbik has speculated that the government may be looking to drop its scheme to cut household utility bills, citing several business transactions. 

According to government communication, the scheme had been made possible by certain players in Hungary’s strategic energy sector being in state ownership or because the state had acquired stakes in them, Lajos Kepli told a press conference on Friday.

But this process seems to be reversing itself, Kepli said, citing the announcement of the recent sale of Magyar Gáz Tranzit (MGT), the project company for a interconnector between the gas networks of Hungary and Slovakia, to FGSZ Földgázszállító. The Hungarian-Slovak interconnector serves to ensure Hungary’s gas supply in the event that Russia cuts off its supply of gas via Ukraine, Kepli said. This transaction has significant business potential for FGSZ, he said, adding that as a private owner, FGSZ — unlike the state — would no doubt hoover up resulting profits.

Kepli also pointed out that

Hungarian-owned energy trader MET Group had purchased regional gas distributor Tigáz and not the Hungarian state.

The Jobbik MP noted that

the business of Lőrinc Mészáros, the mayor of Felcsút and a friend of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, had acquired a stake in Mátrai Erőmű, Hungary’s second-biggest power generator.

That company can influence electricity prices in the country, Kepli noted, adding that since Mészáros acquired ownership in Mátrai Erőmű, it has been selling electricity to state-owned energy company MVM at a higher price. So far household electricity prices have remained unchanged, he added.

He said Jobbik would maintain the scheme to keep household energy bills low not as a “marketing tool” but as a “real measure” that is more socially sensitive than the current scheme.

Source: MTI

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