All Hungarian families will continue to pay capped prices for electricity and gas up to average consumption, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán told public broadcaster Kossuth Rádió on Friday.
Families are estimated to save 56,000 forints (EUR 138) on electricity per month and 146,000 forints on gas bills compared with market prices, Orbán said. While maintaining the utility price caps cost the budget 250-260 billion forints last year, the costs will grow up to 2,000 billion this year, he said. Hungary’s budget would not be able to bear such a burden, he said. At the same time, it is certain that the cap can be maintained for the rest of the year, Orbán said, adding that it would be clear in October “whether Europe will get dragged into a wartime economy.” Hungary has enough natural gas, but “gas prices will present a difficulty,” he said. The majority of Russian gas is now flowing to Hungary through a pipeline recently constructed via Turkey and Serbia, Orbán said. Hungary also imports some 1.5 billion cubic meters of LNG gas through the Croatian interconnector. Hungary is also working on increasing domestic production and is in talks on buying 700 million cubic meters from Russia above the volume contracted in its long-term agreement with that country, he noted.