Sun, 10 Dec 2023

BUDAPEST, Hungary: Prime Minister Viktor Orban's chief of staff, Gergely Gulyas, said in an effort to protect households from surging inflation Hungary has extended price caps on fuel and basic food products by three months, continuing until the end of the year.

Budapest has sharply criticized the European Union for imposing sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, claiming they have caused surging food and energy prices, but have failed to weaken Moscow.

The price rises, combined with the Hungarian currency falling to record lows, have driven Hungary's inflation to two-decade highs, forcing the National Bank to significantly raise its base rate to 11.75 percent.

Gulyas added that the government would extend a cap on mortgage rates, originally due to expire at the end of this year, by "at least six months."

"We now assess that as long as the EU sanctions are in place, there is no realistic chance for an improvement," he said.

Economic Development Minister Marton Nagy said the Orban government will also launch a support scheme for energy-intensive small businesses, as well as an investment support scheme for small businesses to help them improve their energy efficiency and cut costs.

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