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Nemeth: Hungary will not abandon scheme for cheap utility bills

The government is insistent on protecting its scheme to ensure households have access to cheap energy, notwithstanding "attacks from Brussels and the left wing", the government commissioner for maintaining the scheme said on Thursday.

Szilard Nemeth told a press conference that left-wingers and people in Brussels, referring to the EU country report on Hungary, were issuing statements that gave the impression that the EU expected the Hungarian government to abandon the scheme by year-end and provide energy to Hungarian households under “market conditions”.

He insisted that next year’s budget was robust enough that the government would not have to “cancel” subsidies on utility bills.

“We’re unwilling to abandon the [scheme]….” Nemeth said, adding that Eurostat data indicated that nominally Hungarian households have access to the cheapest electricity and gas among EU member states, while in purchasing power parity terms Hungary’s household energy costs put the country in third place.

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