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This Is How to Get Cheaper Gas in Hungary

  • Head of tax authority boasts of price cut at Mol gas station
  • Move showcases cabinet’s meddling in Hungarian economy
A droplet of petrol falls from a fuel pump handle at a gas station operated by Mol.

A droplet of petrol falls from a fuel pump handle at a gas station operated by Mol.

Photographer: Akos Stiller

For an example of the government’s micromanagement of Hungary’s economy, consider the way the head of the tax authority says he got the country’s biggest refiner to cut fuel prices at his local service station.

Andras Tallai, who runs the tax authority in his capacity as state secretary in Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government, boasted on Facebook over the weekend about talking Mol Nyrt. into cutting fuel prices in his constituency of Mezokovesd, a city of about 17,000 people 130 kilometers (81 miles) east of Budapest.