The Hungarian government has announced that foreign drivers will no longer be allowed to gas up at reduced rates amid an explosive rise in prices and looming shortages in Europe.
In an effort to prevent 'fuel tourism' in Hungary, which has some of the lowest prices in the European Union, non-Hungarians will not be allowed to take advantage of state-regulated rates anymore.
"Foreign buyers are exploiting the fact that Hungary is able to maintain petrol prices at HUF 480 (EUR 1.20) per liter, while they are at HUF 700-900 elsewhere in Europe,” Gergely Gulyás, Head of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's Office, said during a press conference this week.
An influx of non-Hungarians to fuel stations in border regions is now "threatening uninterrupted supply," the government said.
"...only Hungarian cars may buy fuel at government-capped prices, cars with foreign number plates will have to pay market prices."
Budapest reportedly introduced a cap of 480 forints (~$1.30) per liter for both petrol and diesel in November in an effort to combat surging inflation.
Prime Minister Orbán has pushed back against an embargo of Russian oil proposed by the E.U., warning it would likely lead to “serious supply problems” in Hungary.
"There is no indication on the modalities and the timing of the financing for the urgent investment needs related to replacing Russian oil,” Orbán wrote in a recent letter to European Council President Charles Michel.
Fuel prices have been surging across Europe, with a gallon of 95 octane unleaded currently going for approximately $8.50 per gallon in Germany.
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(PHOTO: Attila Volgyi/Xinhua via Getty Images)