The government will continue its support for small petrol stations, with HUF 18.5 billion (EUR 45 million) earmarked for this purpose, the Secretary of State for Food Industry and Trade Policy of the Ministry of Agriculture said at a press conference in Budapest on Tuesday.
Márton Nobilis added that the operator of the aid program will open the application procedure this week, and applicants will be able to receive the new aid as early as August.
In March of this year, the government introduced a program to support small petrol stations, under which they receive a non-refundable state subsidy of HUF 20 per liter, the State Secretary noted. He also informed Gábor Egri, president of the Independent Petrol Stations Association, about the continuation of the support.
Márton Nobilis stressed that
the support for small petrol stations also proves that the government is doing its utmost to ensure that there is enough fuel in Hungary.
He added that in a unique move in Europe, the Hungarian population has been protected by a fixed fuel price for nine months. Without the fixed price, the current price of 480 forints (EUR 1,20) would have been more than 800 forints for petrol and 833 forints (around 2 euros) for diesel in recent weeks. With the petrol price freeze, Hungarian families can save 12,000 forints (EUR 30) per 50 liters of petrol, the State Secretary stressed.
For those living in rural areas and small towns, it is important that fuel is also available at small petrol stations. Since small petrol stations are run by small and medium-sized domestic enterprises with less capital, they have been granted tax and contribution relief and the small petrol station support program has been introduced, which has helped the vast majority of small petrol stations to survive the difficulties they have faced so far, the State Secretary said.
The press conference was attended by Gábor Egri, president of the Independent Petrol Stations Association, who thanked the government for “listening to their cries for help.” He stated that the association had convened a general meeting on Tuesday afternoon to discuss their meeting with the State Secretary and to formulate their position.
The Independent Petrol Stations Association announced a few days ago that they will hold a shutdown on the 19th and 20th of August, because “due to the resulting supply shortages, uncertainties and unpaid financial subsidies, they are forced to suspend fuel service.” The shutdown concerns 500-600 stations, however, big chains like Mol, Shell, and OMV will be open as usual.
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