Hungary to create law on non-profit energy services -PM

BUDAPEST Mon Feb 3, 2014 7:51am EST

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BUDAPEST Feb 3 (Reuters) - Hungary will create a law to transform energy services into a non-profit sector, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Monday, part of a government drive to drastically reduce energy costs to make the economy more competitive.

"We need to create the working conditions for non-profit energy providers in our country," Orban told the opening spring session of parliament.

"This requires parliament to create a law on non-profit energy providers on the basis of which the government will have to establish the first Hungarian non-profit energy company."

Orban said the European Commission was planning to launch a legal procedure against Hungary over regulated energy prices, which his government cut by 20 percent for households last year and plans to reduce further in the 2014 election year.

But Orban said this was a mainstay of national strategy needed to enable the country to become more competitive and attract more investment and the government will "defend" the energy price cuts. (Reporting by Krisztina Than and Gergely Szakacs)

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