Hungarian PM scandalised over court decision in favour of gas companies

Issues

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán called a court decision in favour of gas companies that protested the way network fees are calculated a "scandal" and said the government will propose utilities prices be lowered even more than before, speaking to Parliament on Monday. The Budapest Municipal Court recently ruled in favour of gas companies who argued the Hungarian Energy Office (MEH) should calculate as "justified costs" the utilities tax, financial transactions duty and Robin Hood tax when determining network usage fees. The government mandated a 10% reduction in gas, electricity and district heating prices from the start of 2013. Speaking after a Monday meeting of the presidium of the governing party Fidesz, parliamentary group leader Antal Rogán said they will amend several pieces of legislation and will strengthen the energy office and will authorise it to issue decrees, as they will not allow the utilities companies to hinder the price reductions. Rogán and party deputy chairman Lajos Kósa announced that Fidesz will launch a campaign of collecting signatures to defend the price reduction programme as soon as this week.

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