Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Thursday dismissed European Union plans to tackle climate change as a “utopian fantasy”, and suggested green measures were pushing up energy costs in Europe.
“Raising the prices, having a new regulation, rocketing the prices to the sky, destroying the middle class,” Orban said, referring to proposed EU climate measures, on his arrival to a summit of EU leaders.
“Common sense on one side and fantasy on the other one. And utopian fantasy kills us – that’s the problem with energy prices as well.”
Analysts and the European Commission have said the main driver of high electricity costs in Europe has been soaring gas prices, while the EU carbon market has contributed up to a fifth of the power price rise. Brussels has proposed a package of new climate policies, which EU countries will need to negotiate and approve before they take effect.
Mr Orban also rejected the primacy of European law over national law on Thursday, siding with Poland as he arrived for a European Union summit that is set to be dominated by a dispute over the rule of law.
“The fact is very clear: The primacy of EU law is not in the (EU) treaty at all,” the Hungarian leader told reporters in Brussels, adding that the idea of imposing sanctions on Poland was ridiculous.
“What’s going on here is … those European institutions circumvent the rights of the national parliament and government, and modify the treaty without having any legitimate authority to do so,” he said.
More to follow…