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European Commission Investigating Hungary’s Discriminatory Gas Price Regulation

The European Commission is investigating Hungary’s regulation on gas prices, RTL News has learned.

In late May, Minister Gergely Gulyás announced that only vehicles with Hungarian registration and licence plates would be able to buy regular gasoline at the official fixed price of 480 Ft. (US $1.31) per liter, in an attempt to stop “gas tourists” from neighboring countries crossing the border to fill up their vehicles in Hungary.

“We are currently examining the scope, content, cause, and justification for the measure,” Sonya Gospodinova, spokesperson for the European Commission, told the television news channel on Thursday.

Gospodinova added that EU rules generally prohibit setting higher prices for citizens based on nationality or the Member State in which they live. A decision is then made on whether or not to initiate infringement proceedings.

However, any new proceedings launched by the EU against Hungary could drag on for years, notes RTL.

“Gas station owners have become somewhat like aliens in their own country,” said Gábor Egri, a representative for independent filling stations, in describing the situation since May 27 to “Reggeli.” [Magyar Hang]

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