“Nowhere in Europe is it more obvious than in Hungary that only the government’s friends can sell tobacco products” -Elżbieta Bieńkowska, European Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
The Commission will be launching an infringement proceeding against Hungary for discriminatory market practices, European Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska has told Index.hu. The commissioner from Poland says numerous other EU Member States have tobacco monopolies, but no other country has so blatantly awarded the market to the government’s friends than in Hungary.
“Strictly speaking, we are not necessarily talking about corruption,” she said. “But it’s clear the concessions and market advantages that foreign companies once had are now somewhere else.”
Sources tell Index.hu that the European Commission asked for an explanation from the Hungarian government as early as spring this year. The two sides have tried to reach an understanding of the situation but EU experts in Brussels are not accepting the government’s position.
Referenced in this article: