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Govt seeks "fair deal" with energy providers, says Lázár

The government seeks to make a "new and fair deal" with energy distributors rather than expel them from the market or nationalise them, János Lázár, the head of the Prime Minister's Office, said in an interview to national daily Népszabadság at the weekend.

"Profit levels and costs (of operation) should be matched with the incomes of residents," Lázár said. "The earlier business model is over," said the state secretary, and suggested that energy providers should be "satisfied with a fair amount of profit in line with a European business model".
Concerning the government's programme to cut the retail price of utilities, Lázár referred to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's "firm position" that reduced spending should leverage for lower revenues collected by municipally or state-owned providers. In his interview, Lázár criticised central bank governor András Simor, and said he considered him dishonest. "If someone channels his income through offshore companies to evade taxes, I call him a trickster and unworthy to manage the central bank," Lázár said.
He insisted that the central bank should always cooperate with the government to ensure economic growth, and charged Simor with determining the "quality and depth of cooperation in line with his political tastes".