Brussels (Brussels Morning) Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is blaming the EU’s green push for soaring energy prices and says that Hungary and Poland intend to resist the move at the next EU summit, Reuters reports.
The bloc’s green push is deepening divisions between EU member states as wealthier members insist that soaring prices are proof that a stronger green push is needed, while poorer bloc members are sounding the alarm that citizens are the ones who could end up footing the bill for these policies.
Analysts noted that the price of natural gas dictates electricity prices in the EU and that the surge in the carbon permit price now accounts for approximately 20% of the increased electricity prices.
In a radio interview on Friday, Orbán asserted that it is the “bureaucrats in Brussels” that keep pushing up the price of energy generated by burning coal and gas, which is then reflected in the energy bills of households in Europe.
In 2010, Orbán’s government introduced a cap on electricity and natural gas price hikes for households, a measure that effectively froze prices and that remains in place.
“These decisions must be withdrawn… at present, gas prices are where they should be in 2035”, Orbán said, adding that “Brussels is not the solution today, they are the problem.”
EC faces resistance
Commenting on the EU’s green regulations, he went on to say that “Poles, Czechs and we Hungarians demand that the rules should be withdrawn.”
Wealthier as well as poorer EU member states are concerned about the inflationary impact of the green push. The Commission’s plan to include the transport and heating sectors in the carbon trading scheme has come under fire because of the likelihood that the move would add to the consumers’ financial burden.
Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice President of the EC for the European Green Deal, citing rising greenhouse gas emissions from EU’s transport sector, has insisted that the authorities must intervene in order to prevent the trend from jeopardising the EU’s goal of curbing greenhouse gas emissions.
Accordiing to Orbán, “it’s a Commissioner called Timmermans who is posing the biggest threat to us.”