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Large companies file complaints with EU on Hungary tax moves

Fifteen companies, among them leading German and Austrian energy firms, have sent a joint letter to the European Commission expressing concerns about policy developments in Hungary ahead of the country's taking over the EU's rotating presidency in January, Reuters reported.

The letter was signed by chief executives of companies that included Aegon, Allianz, ING Group, RWE, EnBW, E.ON, Deutsche Telekom and OMV, the news agency said citing the letter it obtained on Wednesday. “In the latest decisions made by the Hungarian government we see a trend towards using selected sectors and foreign companies in particular to balance the state budget”, Reuters quoted. “This harms investments as well as the credibility in Hungary's commitment to the European internal market.”

    The letter criticized Hungary's new ad hoc taxes on various sectors of the economy. “We are aware of the particular situation in Hungary and understand that the (Viktor) Orbán government has to make great efforts to save money,” the letter added. “However, we cannot accept that primarily the sectors whose businesses can only react to a limited extent due to fixed infrastructure are exclusively affected by the new measures.”

    As the BBJ learned earlier, some of the biggest Hungarian supermarket chains have already filed an official complaint with the European Commission about the crisis tax, referring to its unfair and retroactive nature. (BBJ)