Gergely Gulyás, Head of the Prime Minister's Office, said the state is ready to intervene and exercise its right to designate new operators for petrol stations that face closure in areas where, as a result, fuel would become unavailable within a 5 km radius of a settlement.
Commenting on press reports that some operators are considering shutting down petrol stations because of the fuel price freeze, Gulyás said Hungarian oil and gas company MOL was ready to step in to provide services instead. The government so far knows of no settlement in the country where it is not possible to buy fuel within 5 km, he said, but it was possible there may be 3-4 such locations.
Under the government decree on the fuel price caps, petrol stations do not have a right to limit the amount of fuel motorists can put in their cars, Gulyás said, adding that tax authority NAV will monitor their compliance with the decree. Stations can only limit the amount of fuel people buy for later use to 10 litres, he added. Gulyás said that while inflation was rising across the globe, consumer price growth in Hungary had slowed by 3 percentage points thanks to the price caps and the mortgage freeze introduced by the government. He said he trusted the central bank’s forecast which sees inflation falling to between 2-4 percent by the fourth quarter.
Meanwhile, Gulyás said Hungary’s 2021 economic growth rate of 7.1 percent was the most rapid since the country’s change of regime in 1990. The record growth rate is not just a result of Hungary’s effective drawdown of European Union funds, but also the government’s economic policies that have yielded record investments, continuous wage growth and rising consumption, he said. The 7.1 percent growth rate is the second highest in the EU behind that of Poland, whose economy last year grew by 7.7 percent, Gulyás added.
Photo credit: MTI