Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said that instead of dealing with pressing energy issues such as the search for new energy resources and the development of infrastructure, the EU has wasted time in the last few months on moves to cap the price of gas.
After a meeting of EU energy ministers, Minister Szijjártó said Hungary completely rejects introducing a “harmful, dangerous and totally needless” price cap. The bloc is acting on facts that were relevant in August, but Europe has managed well without the price cap in the meantime, the minister said, adding that the cap risked bumping up prices if less gas is available as a result or if the cap’s threshold is above current market prices. Minister Szijjártó said this kind of market intervention was “dangerous and irresponsible”, and he called for a thorough preliminary investigation before any action is taken. He called for an increase in the amount of gas but this, he said, required improvements to infrastructure, adding that there was little point in adding LNG ports in various parts of Europe if the pipeline network was insufficient. In a “test vote” on the proposal to cap the gas price, 9 member states including Hungary voted against it, but this was not enough to form a blocking minority, he noted. “However many voting rounds there may be today, Hungary will vote no,” he said.