RWE official calls Hungarian energy changes "unacceptable"

History

Changes imposed by Hungary in the energy sector are "unprecedented and completely unacceptable", an RWE official said on Thursday, adding he hoped Brussels would stop what he said were "violations" of EU rules, Reuters reported. Parliament approved a law last week that bans energy companies from passing the cost of taxes on their financial transactions and infrastructure on to consumers. The government also cut households' gas and electricity bills by 10 percent and flagged further reductions. Martin Herrmann, chairman of RWE East, the German utility's umbrella company in central and eastern Europe, told a conference in Prague that Hungary's moves were not making the situation better. He said RWE was cutting its investments in Hungary by 50% this year, but did not elaborate. "What is happening in Hungary is unprecedented and completely unacceptable," he said. "I have to put my hopes on Brussels very highly because the Hungarian state is clearly violating EU rules." Herrmann said other energy players were even cutting investments by up to 80 percent "because you can not invest in such an environment that de facto you are very close to being expropriated. That is something that definitely needs to be stopped," he said. Earlier this month, Antal Rogán, head of the parliamentary faction of the ruling Fidesz party, said that "we won't allow either any international business lobby or the political forces that speak on their behalf to interfere with the decisions of the Hungarian parliament."

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