Peter Marki-Zay - Photo: Facebook

Lanczi: Marki-Zay’s falling popularity linked to opposition to utility bill reduction scheme

The fall in popularity of opposition prime ministerial candidate Peter Marki-Zay is strongly linked to his opposition to the government's well-liked scheme to cap utility bills, according to political scientist Tamas Lanczi.

The academic told public broadcaster Kossuth Radio on Sunday that massive pressure from lobbyists to scrap the scheme was behind the politician’s declared policy.

Meanwhile, commenting on Europe’s energy woes, Lanczi said Germany and Brussels were “at war with common sense”. Germany and some western European countries wanted to raise taxes on utility bills to pay for upgrading of their poorly functioning energy infrastructure, and if these plans were implemented, then energy prices would balloon.

When it comes to EU climate goals, Hungary is on board and on track to meet them, he said. But Germany refuses to use nuclear energy or give the go-ahead to the Nord Stream-2 pipeline, both essential to meeting climate targets, he added.

Energy prices, he said, are an important factor in Hungarian politics. The left wing, he added, tended to be in favour of high energy prices, citing related “business interests”.

He noted that after 2010, energy prices went down and the “money spigot” of foreign energy companies was closed off. These companies, however, are hopeful their exorbitant profits will return after the 2022 general election. Berlin and Brussels, he added, were behind the Hungarian political forces that promoted these business interests.

Lanczi noted that Marki-Zay had worked for an energy supplier in the early 2000s.

Foreign support for Hungary’s opposition, he added, did not come free of charge and was given quid pro quo.

Marki-Zay, he said, had often questioned the policy of utility bill reductions and declared his intention to abolish them. The opposition politician had only lately cottoned on to the extent of his stance’s unpopularity, he said, adding that it was “surprising” that he hadn’t noticed this before.

Lanczi said Marki-Zay was not only opposed to the will of ordinary Hungarians when it came to energy bills, but also their views on migration clearly stated in a referendum.

 

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