The fuel price freeze was lifted at 11 p.m. on Tuesday. Half an hour before this, Gergely Gulyás, who heads the Prime Minister’s Office, held a joint government briefing with Zsolt Mol Hernádi. However, stability is only restored a month or two after the decision, before the system is reloaded and imports normalize.
“Hungary fought in vain, but the sanctions are still causing disruptions in the country’s fuel supply, so the government accepts Mol’s proposal and the fuel price cap is lifted,” Gergely Gulyás said on the government information, announced at 9:46 p.m. The move will take place on Tuesday at 11 p.m.
We couldn’t do anything else, Mol has endured so far – added Zsolt Hernádi, president and CEO of Mol. “Restoring imports is the only solution, and there is no possibility of this in the official system,” he added. 95 gasoline is HUF 641, diesel is HUF 699, and motorists can expect similar prices on Tuesday after 11 p.m.
Hernádi also stated that the effect of the Brussels sanctions, which will come into effect later, will create another difficult situation after February 5. Hungary must prepare for this situation, imports must be restored, the system must be recharged, he added.
According to him, the current situation will not be resolved overnight, but without this step, Hungary is prepared for the next crisis. “It’s not good if something is expensive, it’s only worse if you don’t have something,” added the Mol leader. According to Hernádi, the restoration of imports may take a month or two, after which we can talk about normal stability.
According to Gergely Gulyás and Zsolt Hernádi, the sanctions led to the fact that it became impossible to supply fuel in Hungary. Responding to a question, the minister in charge of the Prime Minister’s Office added: this step will certainly increase inflation further, but he could not say exactly how much it will rise.
It applies to all products with a price cap that if the shortage reaches the level where families no longer have access to the given product, the price cap becomes unjustified, said the minister.
Answering Telex’s question, Zsolt Hernádi said that the introduction of the price cap was already discussed in the summer, but the government ultimately did not decide to do so. It was not a professional decision, but a political one – said the Mol leader.
Shortage and panic buying at wells in Hungary
On Tuesday, social media sites were full of photos and videos showing how many people lined up with their cars at gas stations that have fuel. Because most gas stations don’t have it. We previously wrote about this topic here:
The gasoline shortage was caused by a series of unfortunate events. The failure of the Mol refinery in Halombatta, the interruption of oil delivery, panic buying and petrol tourism, and the latter causing the price cap, which the Hungarian government imposed on November 15 last year, i.e. more than a year ago, and has since extended it several times. The problem with this was that no foreign supplier could afford to sell the fuel for HUF 480, and Mol alone was not able to supply the Hungarian market without disturbance.