Gergely Gulyás: We need a ceasefire and negotiations as soon as possible because this is the only way to save lives

Following yesterday’s government meeting, Gergely Gulyás, the minister heading Prime Minister Orbán’s office and Alexandra Szentkirályi, spokesperson for the Hungarian government, held a Government Info session on new measures decided upon the day before.

Minister Gulyás told reporters that “the government discussed the energy situation at length on Wednesday,” alongside the price reductions currently implemented for the well-being of the public.

On this topic, the minister announced that “the current rules on the reduction of utility bills will stay in effect,” noting that “all resources are available in this year's budget to maintain the current rules on reducing household utility bills.” Minister Gulyás reminded that Hungary’s utility cost reduction scheme is the most generous such program in Europe.

Furthermore, Gergely Gulyás added that the government recognizes “rising energy prices as a serious problem for the economy” and “a significant negative factor in competitiveness.”

In order to mitigate the harmful effects of price increases for small to medium-sized enterprises, the government is introducing new measures and will intervene to help 14,000 economic actors.

Companies, churches, and municipalities had previously paid high prices if they had not signed a contract by December 31, but they will now see a significant price reduction provided by the state budget.

On another note, Minister Gulyás said that “the government welcomes the pro-peace resolution adopted last Friday” by the parliament, adding that it “remains on the side of peace, and the Hungarian voters have taken the same position.”

The minister also said that the resolution “condemns the military attack on Ukraine,” and reassured that “anyone fleeing Ukraine will be welcomed by Hungary.”

On this topic, the Hungarian stance is clear, “we need a ceasefire and negotiations as soon as possible because this is the only way to save lives,” said the minister.

Following Gergely Gulyás, Spokesperson Alexandra Szentkirályi announced the results of an ongoing effort to oversee the price reduction measures on certain food items. These price caps were introduced by the government last year, but not all stores have adhered to them.

Szentkirályi told reporters that “468 shops were inspected, 334 proceedings were opened, and 83 of these were closed.” She reported that “there were 179 cases of infringements,” an average of two to three infringements per shop.

As a result, fines totaling HUF 330 million have been imposed. Officials have conducted more than 1,500 inspections since January and will continue to enforce the implementation of the government’s decree.