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Left-wing weeklies on the freezing of fuel prices

November 22nd, 2021

Two left-wing weeklies condemn the government in unison for freezing the prices of petrol and diesel.

In an unsigned editorial, 168 óra finds it absurd that the government imposed a cap on fuel prices and thus compelled enterprises to incur financial losses for a period of three months, threatening them with being taken over by rivals if they suspend the sale of fuel. In a market economy, the left-wing weekly argues, freezing prices is a method that just doesn’t work in the long run. 168 óra also criticises the low tariffs imposed by the government on public utilities, as a result of which international providers sold out to their Hungarian successors, who in turn felt compelled to neglect maintenance. In consequence, households risk power failures, the editors suggest.

Magyar Narancs adds one more argument to the same critical thread. In its first page editorial, the liberal weekly asks what will happen if petrol stations are stormed by customers from neighbouring countries, where fuel prices are over 10% higher. When prices are kept artificially low, the editors argue, the inevitable result is shortage, sooner or later.

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