Brussels, October 24 (MTI) – The European Union’s new climate and energy strategy will not put a great burden on Hungary’s budget, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said in Brussels after a summit of European leaders on Friday.
At the summit, it was key for Hungary to prevent any decision that would thwart the government’s plans to reduce energy prices and go on with its utilities cut programme, Orban said.
Hungary had also aimed at keeping it a national competency for each country to decide how they wish to reduce environmentally harmful emissions or choose energy sources to cover domestic demand, Orban said, adding that those goals had been met.
Orban also added that nuclear energy developments could still go ahead.
Concerning energy security, Orban said that participants had voiced support to financing south-north infrastructure developments.
The EU strategy does not imply strict emission reduction criteria for industries with the highest carbon-dioxide production to prevent those sectors from moving to other countries where there are no such requirements, Orban said, and referred to car or tyre making plants in Hungary.
On another subject, the prime minister said that Hungary’s economic indicators “will be in order” both for this year and the next. He added that Hungary’s national debt “could soon turn out to be even lower than expected”.
Bernadett Szel, co-leader of the green LMP, said that the government had “lobbied for the wrong cause”. Szel criticised the prime minister for “interpreting it as an achievement to lower environmental requirements for Hungary” and said that it was proof of the government’s short-term thinking. That approach, she insisted, is irresponsible and will seriously harm Hungary’s competitiveness in the long run.
The new European accord “practically does not involve any obligations” for Hungary; the EU has made climate protection a lower priority through passing generic recommendations rather than mandatory commitments at national level, Szel said.
Photo: MTI/Prime Minister Office – Barna Burger