Gergely Gulyás, Head of the Prime Minister's Office, said the Hungarian government is discussing energy costs with local councils.
According to MTI, Gulyás said local councils have a responsibility to try to save energy on their own and save enough money to be able to pay the increased prices, adding that the government was prepared to talk to everyone and help those it can. The government aims to keep crèches, kindergartens and schools open. Basic services must be guaranteed everywhere, but if necessary the government is prepared to intervene to ensure that they are provided, Gulyás said. The government will also take steps to get state-owned energy provider MVM to offer discounted prices to local councils, he said. Meanwhile, Gulyás said the cabinet will discuss price caps on basic foodstuffs next week or the week after.
Gulyás said the government had yet to understand the EU’s proposal to impose a price cap on Russian gas and was awaiting the details. He added that because Europe was importing its gas, there was no point in discussing a price cap for now. If the sanctions on Russian energy were to be lifted tomorrow “everything would be halved, including prices and inflation”, Gulyás said, adding that the European Commission had chosen to go “in the opposite direction”. This is not hurting Russia, but rather “handing it huge profits”, he insisted. Gulyás said it was hard to see how Ukraine could “get back on its feet”, so the country needed to be helped. “But because of the damage caused by the sanctions, eventually there will hardly be any European countries that will be able to help, which could lead to a tragic situation,” he added. Asked about calls to ban EU visas to Russians, Gulyás said he agreed with the view that there was no point in imposing such a restriction.
Photo credit: MTI