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Government Plans to Go after those it Deems Profiting from the War in Ukraine

MTI-Hungary Today 2024.07.08.

The Government has announced what they called a “comprehensive anti-war action plan” and several economic measures aimed at addressing the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and its impact on the country.

Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office, Gergely Gulyás, and government spokesperson Eszter Vitályos outlined these initiatives during the recent Press Briefing.

Anti-War Action Plan and Peace Mission

The government has introduced an anti-war action plan to combat “war propaganda” and promote transparency. Minister Gulyás emphasized the importance of this measure, stating, “maximum transparency is important, and parties and the media will be obliged to make their sources transparent.” He also highlighted Hungary’s peace initiative, led by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán at the start of his EU presidency.

Peace cannot be achieved without direct dialogue with the warring parties,” the Minister asserted.

He added that Hungary seeks to engage with all countries that can contribute to peace, stressing the need for a ceasefire to facilitate meaningful negotiations.

Economic Measures and Banking Sector Regulations

In response to the economic challenges posed by the war, the Government has implemented several financial measures. A defense contribution will be required from multinational companies that have made extra profits during wartime. Gergely Gulyás explained,

the contribution will be paid by the banking sector, multinationals, and energy companies, with the money going into the defense fund.”

Additionally, the government plans to increase the transaction tax paid by banks and impose a currency conversion levy on foreign currency transactions. To protect consumers, the Minister announced, “a freeze on account management and card usage fees will be introduced in 2024 for retail cards and accounts.” Mr. Gulyás also addressed fuel prices, stating that the government expects energy companies to ensure Hungarian families do not pay more for fuel than the average price in neighboring countries.

Air Travel Improvements and Consumer Protection

Addressing issues in the aviation sector, the government has called on all air transport operators, including HungaroControl, to prepare action plans and improve passenger communication. Gergely Gulyás emphasized the need for strict measures, saying, “the government is instructing the consumer protection authority to act as strictly as possible in the event of significant delays and to impose substantial fines.”

He highlighted that over 60% of delays are due to airline fault

and stressed the importance of providing passengers with necessary information and services during delays. Minister Gulyás added, “we see no other option”, regarding the imposition of fines on airlines for significant delays.

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Petrol Prices

Gergely Gulyás reported significant reductions in fuel prices compared to April and May.

Compared to the peak in April, people can buy petrol at HUF 32 less and diesel at HUF 30 less (EUR 0.07 and 0.08),” he stated.

Price of 95 octane fuel. (Blue line: Hungary; Grey line: regional) Graph: KSH

However, according to recent data by the Hungarian Central Statistical Office, petrol and diesel were still HUF 4 and 10 more expensive in Hungary than the average in neighboring countries.

Price of diesel. (Blue line: Hungary; Grey line: regional) Graph: KSH

The government continues to urge energy companies to honor the agreement that Hungarian families shouldn’t pay more for fuel than regional averages, expecting fuel retailers to address this disparity.

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Via MTI; Featured Image: MTI / Szigetváry Zsolt

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