Hungary restricts foreigners from coming to buy cheap gasoline
Pumps at a gas station in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo: Reuters)
Meanwhile, cars with foreign number plates will no longer be allowed buy petrol in Hungary under the preferential price threshold, which is the lowest in the European Union (EU).
Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s chief of staff, Gergely Gulyas, said the measure was aimed at preventing “petroleum travelers”, who come to Hungary to buy cheap gasolineabuse of Hungary’s fuel supplies.
During a regular press conference, Mr. Gergely Gulyas noted, “foreign visitors are taking advantage of the fact that Hungary maintains gasoline prices at 1.22 euros per liter while gasoline prices elsewhere in Europe are twice as expensive.” . The official said that the fact that foreigners “take advantage” of low gasoline prices has become a real problem, threatening the country’s gas supply.
Currently Hungary is selling gasoline at 1.34 USD / liter, while the price of gasoline in other parts of Europe is in the range of 1.91 – 2.46 USD.
The gas price limit was applied by the Hungarian Government from November 15, 2021 in the context of rapid inflation. Since then, Budapest has renewed the program several times, most recently at the end of April. Along with gas prices, similar price limits are also applied by Hungary for some staples such as flour and sugar.
Chief of Staff Gulyas also mentioned the economic downturn caused by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, and warned that the world may be on the verge of a new economic crisis. Hungary has suffered a number of consequences, including rising fuel prices.
Mr. Gulyas continued to criticize the sanctions imposed by the EU on Russia, saying that these sanctions are counterproductive, harming the Hungarian people.
Marton Nagy, Hungarian Minister of Economic Development, said that Budapest’s main goal in the current circumstances is to build a resilient economy while keeping the budget and national debt under control. Hungary is among a few EU member states blocking a sixth round of EU sanctions against Russia, with the embargo on Russian oil imports being the main subject of controversy.
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