Prime minister Viktor Orbán – Photo: PMO

Opposition calls for EU measures to curb energy crisis

Orbán: Hungary’s energy supplies guaranteed

"The most important issue for us has been settled favourably," Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in Versailles early on Friday, declaring that "there will be no [European Union] sanctions covering oil and gas; in other words Hungary's energy supplies will be guaranteed in the coming period."
11. March 2022 14:32

In a video recorded after an extraordinary EU summit posted on Facebook, Orban said: “We listened to the French president and German chancellor who had talks with Putin. It cannot be ruled out that the conflict will drag on. We have decided that Europe will also join ceasefire talks.”

At the meeting, “we thanked both the French president and the German chancellor for their efforts to restore peace,” the prime minister said.     “We have done all this and we’ll continue in the morning,” he said.

Opposition calls for EU measures to curb energy crisis

Opposition politicians on Friday called on the European Union to set up a fund to offset the fallout of the energy crisis, to stack up on energy resources and take steps against “Russian blackmail”.

Momentum vice-president Marton Ilyes told an online press conference that it was not the EU or the opposition that was at fault “but Russia, which is bombing nuclear plants and bombarding children’s hospitals in a neighbouring country. Russia and President Vladimir Putin are not reliable partners, which is causing price rises and shortages.”

He accused the Hungarian government of “scrambling” for solutions. Price caps are causing a dearth of goods, he said. Retailers who “are not ready to sell at a loss are losing their property,” he said.

Ilyes said Prime Minister Viktor Orban “has put all his chips on Russia”. Electricity produced by the upgraded Paks nuclear plant would be “more expensive than any other technology”, he said. Meanwhile, the gas prices Russia and Hungary agreed on in the long-term agreement signed in September are confidential, “so there is no way of knowing whether they are good or not”, he said. “The government was caught unprepared by the energy crisis, they have no reserves, plans or reliable allies,” he said.

Jacint  Horvath, a candidate of the united opposition, cited reports of faltering fuel supply at pumps, and said many petrol stations in the countryside could not serve customers. “The failed policies of the Orban government have led to the fuel supplies collapsing in Hungary,” he said. With that, basic services such as public transport are at risk, he said.

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