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Orbán Calls Plans to Control EU Gas Prices ‘Economic Suicide’

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Hungary’s PM Viktor Orbán on Thursday described as economic suicide the EU’s plans to try to cap gas prices, an issue being discussed at a meeting of EU leaders taking place until tomorrow in Brussels.

“Brussels’ latest plans on the gas price cap amounts to a total gas embargo for Hungary. Committing economic suicide will not help Ukraine,” the head of the Hungarian government said on Twitter.

Orbán assured that he expects “a huge debate” at the European Council being held in Brussels between today and tomorrow.

The meeting will analyze, among other issues, the possibility of imposing a cap on gas prices to lower electricity bills, which have become more expensive as a result of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, although consensus is still far from being reached.

Specifically, Brussels advocates a flexible and temporary cap that would put a ceiling on the main benchmark for the hydrocarbon (the TTF) in episodes of soaring prices, until the bloc has already developed an alternative index that better reflects liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices.

Less conflict is generated by the idea of forcing countries to jointly purchase at least 15% of the gas to fill the tanks for the winter of 2024, although this initiative has been criticized by the Hungarian government, which opposes making it mandatory to participate in such a system.

Hungary, which is heavily dependent on Russian gas and oil, opposes any sanctions or limitations on the purchase of hydrocarbons from Russia.

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