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JUSTICE MINISTER CALLS FOR ENERGY DIVERSIFICATION

 

Dependence on energy sources should be swapped for diversification, the Hungarian justice minister said on Tuesday, adding that the Hungarian government will support any European Union proposal aimed at ensuring diversity of supplies. Judit Varga, speaking ahead of a meeting of EU affairs ministers in Luxembourg, said that the government, however, would not back any proposal that may compromise supply security. “Now that Europe is facing a general recession, it’s important that energy and economic issues should be addressed at the highest level and on a basis of common sense,” Varga said. She said dialogue was needed, while “ideological fights should be allowed no room as they would jeopardise the competitiveness and the economy of the European Union.” She said diversification was an inevitable goal, but it required new pipelines because “central Europe cannot receive as much energy from the West as it needs”. “It is important that Europe should have at least 4-6 offers by various energy suppliers on its table,” Varga said. “We want to see such quotes rather than anything that jeopardises energy security,” she added.
Concerning Hungary’s commitments taken to ensure access to the EU’s recovery funds, Varga said that talks with the European Commission were “progressing”. It is important, she said, that EU members states had also expressed their confidence in Hungary, adding that the government was bent on delivering on its commitments. Varga said the issue of raising the salaries of Hungarian teachers was on the agenda of the talks. “If the opposition also fights for the successful outcome of the talks, education salaries can be raised by 21% on January 1,” she said.