Hungary declares state of energy emergency

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“In recent days, it has become clear that there will not be enough gas for the heating season in parts of Europe,” he said…reports Asian Lite News

The Hungarian government declared a state of energy emergency and adopted a 7-point plan on energy security, with special focus on the supply security of Hungarian families, Gergely Gulyas, the head of the Prime Minister’s Office, told a press conference on Wednesday.

The measures will take effect on August 1.

Gulyas blamed the prolonged conflict in Ukraine and the European Union’s sanctions against Russia for the steep rise in energy prices in Europe, culminating now in what he called an energy crisis.

“In recent days, it has become clear that there will not be enough gas for the heating season in parts of Europe,” he said.

As part of the emergency plan, domestic natural gas production will be doubled to 2 billion cubic meters, and the government tasked Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto with negotiating additional gas supplies. At the same time, the government will ban the export of energy carriers and firewood, and boost domestic lignite production.

The coal-fired Matra power plant — not operating since June 2021 — will be restarted as soon as possible, and the government will launch the procedure to extend the operating license of the Paks nuclear power plant until 2042-2047 (different dates apply to the four Paks blocks). A sore point to citizens, those who consume energy above the national average will have to pay the market price for the excess consumption.

Gulyas said the average annual consumption had been 2,523 kilowatt hours for electricity and 1,729 cubic meters for gas.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who has been in power since 2010, faces unprecedented setbacks: inflation in Hungary is approaching 12 percent, a 24-year high, while the country’s currency (forint) is at record lows against the euro and the U.S. dollar. Moreover, the country’s access to vital European Union (EU) funds has been blocked over concerns for the rule of law situation in Hungary.

Pressed to fill the state coffers, the government on Tuesday ended a preferential tax regime for individual entrepreneurs that led to demonstrations in the capital.

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