Hungary’s PM Orban again sets sights on utilities firms, ‘powerful friends’

The government needs the people to help defeat foreign-owned utilities firms that want to scotch a plan to lower bills, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on state-owned Kossuth Radio last Friday. “What is needed now is that the whole nation unite with one will and we should defend the utility fee cuts together,” he said.

Under legislation that took effect this year, utilities firms had to cut costs by ten per cent, and add a line to customer statements making it clear that the reduction was down to government policy. Recent domestic court rulings cast doubt on the legality of the scheme, but the government quickly responded with legislation to circumvent the rulings, after Orban declared himself outraged and promised an even bigger cut.

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(Photo: European Parliament)