Orbán Warns 'Sanctions Surcharge' Could Become Economic Fixture 


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Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that a "sanctions surcharge" Europeans are paying on energy could be "built-in" to the economy if European Union policies concerning punitive measures against Russia are not changed in a weekly interview broadcast on public radio on Friday.

Orbán told Kossuth Rádió that a National Consultation on Brussels' sanctions policy cleared by the government days earlier would give Hungarians a chance to air their opinions and establish a consensus.

"We need to voice our opinions, because if the sanctions policy is not changed, the sanctions surcharge that we're paying today, which is a temporary thing, will be built into the economy and will remain with us for the long term," he said.

"If we don't protest, if we don't get Brussels to change the sanctions policy...the sanctions surcharge will become a fact of life for the coming 5-10 years," he added.

Orbán said a summit of EU leaders in Prague in a week offers a chance for decision-makers to "see mistakes" and "revise" earlier measures.

He noted that government support to keep the regulated system of household energy prices in place now adds up to a monthly HUF 181,000 per family. He said that the system will "certainly" remain in place this year, adding that there are "high hopes" of its continuation in 2023, too, although "we must work very hard" for that.


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