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Ryanair and government trade barbs

June 17th, 2022

A moderately pro-government news site writes that Ryanair’s CEO has been given a tough but fair answer to his harsh criticism of the new windfall tax imposed on airlines.

After a consumer protection probe into Ryanair’s pricing policy was launched at the behest of Márton Nagy, the Minister of Economic Development (See BudaPost, June 14), Michael O’Leary, the company’s CEO called the Cabinet Minister an ‘idiot’ and promised to send him a book entitled ‘Economics for Dummies’ to help him get acquainted with the basics of the profession.

On Index, Tamás Németh predicts that the government’s answer will not make Mr O’Leary happy. He condemns the Ryanair boss for his vulgar reaction to the tax imposed on airlines, as well as to the probe into Ryanair’s pricing methods after it shifted the tax to its passengers. He adds that in the past, the CEO of Ryanair used disparaging words about overweight people and described some of his company’s passengers as ‘idiots’. However, he believes this time Mr O’Leary went even further. He praises the Economy Minister for replying that he hoped Ryanair would be just as swift in responding to passenger complaints in the future and that the company will be less arrogant with them than it is with the Hungarian government. Nagy agrees with the Minister in remarking that Ryanair never protested against similar taxes in Germany, Holland, Sweden or France. Finally, he finds it natural for Ryanair to protect its own profits while adding that the government cannot tolerate unfair or illegal practices by corporations.

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