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Utility tariffs challenged by Brussels

June 18th, 2015

Magyar Nemzet thinks the government will have a hard time if it wants to heed EU criticism over the utility tariff cuts of the past two years, and at the same time keep tariffs low, as it has promised the electorate.

In Magyar Nemzet, Csaba Erdősi suggests that the series of utility cuts ordered by the government played a critical role in its electoral success last year. Meanwhile, the multinational owners of the utility companies were accruing increasing losses and ended up selling their shares to the state. As a result, those losses will have to be covered by the taxpayers, and the European Union is pursuing an infringement procedure against Hungary on what might be considered the arbitrary tariffs imposed on energy providers. The tariff cuts had a magic effect on Fidesz’s popularity, Erdősi recalls, but thinks it would be even more magical if the government managed to satisfy Brussels’ requirements without compromising its own popularity at home.