The Hungarian opposition’s prime ministerial candidate Péter Márki-Zay has called the government’s decree, which will see a price freeze on several food categories, a “stupid measure.”
“As an economist, mayor, and as an average Hungarian voter, it is pathetic that Hungary returns to where it left off thirty years after the change of regime: to official price regulation,” Márki-Zay said in a Facebook post on Sunday.
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán announced the government’s intention to introduce a price cap on several key food categories to mitigate the rising cost of living sparked not least by the increase in energy prices. The the price cap will take effect for three months from Feb. 1, when stores will have to offer the named products at the price they were being offered at on Oct. 15, 2021.
The price cap applies to granulated sugar, wheat flour, sunflower cooking oil, pork leg, chicken breast and chicken hindquarters, and 2.8 percent UHT milk.
The left-wing prime ministerial candidate said it was “nonsense” to freeze food prices. He previously expressed his support for international supermarket chains Aldi, Lidl, Penny, Spar and Tesco, when the government made it mandatory for them to distribute unwanted food items that were about to expire to the poor.
The government’s decision is a relief to everyone. The price stop was needed because of the erroneous energy policy in Brussels, which has led to higher energy prices, including food prices. The government decided to freeze prices at their end-October level in order to help rein in inflation.