Ekonomia

The fuel price ceiling in Hungary could create a new impasse with the EU

The fuel price ceiling in Hungary could create a new impasse with the EU

Rising inflation in Hungary forced the country's prime minister to take measures to reduce the price of fuel. The government has also imposed a tax on "extra profits", as it calls them, of airlines. Companies like Ryanair and Easyjet have already been forced to raise ticket prices and these policies of the Hungarian government have sparked debate with the EU and some economists.

The latest measures of the Hungarian nationalist government to mitigate the effects of the economic downturn and rising inflation are being opposed by some of the affected companies and risk creating a new impasse between Budapest and the European Union.

Leaving aside the conservative fiscal model with as few rules and a free market capitalism, right-wing populist Prime Minister Viktor Orban has responded to Hungary's highest inflation in 25 years by setting official ceilings for the price of fuel and products. various foodstuffs, as well as collecting special taxes from certain sectors of the economy.

In an interview last week, Mr Orban blamed the war in Ukraine and EU sanctions on Russia for Hungary's economic woes.

"An emergency situation requires extraordinary measures. In such cases deviation from the general rules is permissible, even mandatory. There is no other way to protect the interests of the Hungarian people. If we did not have a ceiling, the price of fuel would be up to $ 2.35 per liter. "The increase in fuel would be immediately reflected in the increase in other prices," said Prime Minister Orban.

Although some of these policies help Hungarian consumers by offering them lower prices in the short term, domestic and multinational companies are outraged. They say these policies are undermining their balance sheets and ability to compete in the market.

The EU opposes a measure passed in Hungary in May, according to which drivers with foreign license plates can not take advantage of the ceiling set against the price of fuel, but must pay it at the real market price. The EU calls this a discriminatory practice and has threatened to take legal action.

"We urge bureaucrats in Brussels not to follow the logic of equality, but to finally understand that in countries closer to the war zone, emergency measures may be needed," Orban said.

Some Hungarian consumers, whose salaries are among the lowest in the European Union, say reduced fuel prices are helping them as prices for other products, especially food, continue to rise.

“Është mirë të ketë tavan. Makinat me targa hungareze mund të furnizohen me karburant me 1.25 dollarë litri. Do të kishim vuajtur nëse çmimi do të shkonte më lart”, thotë Krizstian Orsos, marangoz në qytetin Somogyvar.

Jozsef Toth është fermer në pension nga një fshat i vogël hungarez. Megjithë pensionin e tij të vogël, ai nuk është dakort për çmimin më të lartë që u vendoset të huajve.

“Është mirë për ne, por disi e çuditshme që të huajt duhet të paguajnë më shumë. Nëse do të shkonim ne tek vendet e tyre, atëherë do të duhej të na e shisnin ata neve më shtrenjtë (karburantin)”, thotë zoti Toth.

Gyorgy Suranyi është ekonomist dhe ish-guvernator i bankës qendrore të Hungarisë. Ai është kundër vendosjes së tavaneve në çmime si një strategji për të lehtësuar barrën financiare. Gjithashtu, ai shpjegon se inflacioni pati filluar kohë përpara se Rusia të sulmonte Ukrainën.

Krahas inflacionit dhe rritjes së çmimeve të konsumit, Hungaria po përballet edhe me një defiçit buxhetor në rritje. Kjo e shtyu qeverinë të njoftojë se do të vendosë taksa të reja ndaj fitimeve shtesë në disa sektorë, si bankat, siguracionet dhe udhëtimet ajrore. Qeveria thotë se këto kompani do të kontribuojnë kështu për rimëkëmbjen ekonomike nga të ardhurat e tyre shtesë për shkak të kërkesës së rritur. Por ekonomistët thonë se shumica e kompanive nuk kanë fitime më të mëdha se zakonisht.

"The price should have been allowed to fluctuate according to the requirements and as determined by the prices in the world market. "Since this would have created a significant additional profit for the Hungarian (fuel) monopoly company, additional tax could have been taken from this profit," says economist Suranyi.

Airlines agree. The director of Ireland-based airline Ryanair, Michael O'Leary, called the new Hungarian tax "a committee robbery". Together with the other British airline EasyJet, and the Hungarian low-cost airline Wizz Air, they will now have to add 10 Euros to the price of each ticket to cover the new tax./AP