In Hungary, according to a new regulation, foreigners have to pay more than Hungarian citizens at petrol stations. The EU Commission is now examining a possible violation of EU law.

Hungary is threatened with trouble with the EU Commission because of the discrimination against foreigners at petrol stations. A spokeswoman for the Brussels authority confirmed on Thursday that a new regulation that has been in force since Friday is currently being examined. This stipulates that owners of vehicles with foreign license plates may no longer benefit from state fuel subsidies.

According to the spokeswoman, Hungary’s regulation could violate EU rules that prohibit discrimination against consumers because of nationality or place of residence. Restrictions on the internal market can only be justified by compelling reasons, said the spokeswoman. These could concern, for example, public order, health or safety. “They cannot be justified on economic grounds,” said the spokeswoman.

Foreigners pay around 40 percent more at petrol stations in Hungary

The fact that foreign motorists are no longer allowed to benefit from the state fuel discount means that they currently have to pay significantly more money for a liter of fuel at the pumps. According to media reports, the price is on average 40 percent higher than for Hungarian citizens.

If the Brussels authorities come to the conclusion that Budapest violates EU law, they could initiate so-called infringement proceedings against Hungary. In the end, there could be a lawsuit before the European Court of Justice and a fine. The spokeswoman said the measure had been learned from the media.