Hungary Condemns EU Climate Plans

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By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent reporting from Budapest, Hungary

(Worthy News) – Hungary’s nationalist conservative prime minister has accused the European Union’s executive of seeking to “destroy Europe’s middle classes” with a climate package.

Viktor Orbán told media that the EU’s European Commission’s green deal would increase already high energy prices.

He lashed out at the executive and Frans Timmermans, its green commissioner, saying their policies were already responsible for sky-high electricity and gas prices”.

Orbán, who faces elections next year, said the higher utility bills “are endangering European democracy,” the fate of democracy hung on the middle classes.

He made clear that EU-member Hungary would not support the current climate plans saying they should be withdrawn and reconsidered.

Orbán said there had been no promised assessment on the impact of plans such as an increased tax on fossil fuel and cars for all member states. The commission’s ill-considered plans would shatter Europe’s economy, he warned. “This must be stopped.”

Hungary has one of the lowest energy prices in Europe, in part due to steep government subsidies.

Speaking to reporters at the start of an EU summit, Orbán also called Brussels infringement procedures against Poland “a witch hunt.”

Poland angered Brussels after its highest court ruled last week that some EU treaties are incompatible with the Polish constitution.

It challenged a pillar of European integration and sharply escalated a dispute between Brussels and Warsaw. Hungary, which also faces sanctions over perceived rule-of-law violations, supports Poland’s position, Orbán said. “We are standing up for the Poles.”

He argued that the 27-member EU had “no business to control laws that are within the competence of national parliaments, constitutions, and courts.”

The prime minister expressed concern that Brussels was “stealthily” encroaching on national powers and sovereignty.

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