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Unhappy Hungarians trust their government

July 11th, 2011

Hungarians are sceptical and pessimistic, according to an international survey. But astonishingly, there is more public trust in Parliament and the Government than anywhere else in Europe, according to the same survey, a conservative commentator points out.

Gabor Borókai, editor-in chief of Heti Válasz criticises the way Nepszabadság reported  the recent survey, carried out for the London-based European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). A photo of a torn Hungarian flag illustrated Hungary’s pessimism as presented in the study, which surveyed 36 thousand households in 34 countries. People were asked for their views on the on-going crisis, on their present attitudes  and future prospects.

Hungary figured in the survey among the three countries worst hit by the recent crises. Two thirds of Hungarian households regard themselves as losers. Young Hungarians in particular are desperate. Hungarian public opinion is much more distrustful of democratic institutions and of the market economy than public opinion in west European countries. However, Borókai suggests that even the title of the article – “Unhappy Hungarians” is misleading.

“The reader has to wait until the very last sentence to find out that in Hungary, trust in the Government and the Parliament has increased significantly since 2006 and is stronger than in Western countries in general. In Borókai’s interpretation, that means that a large majority understand and accept the intentions of the new government.  Most agree with the identification of problems and the diagnosis offered, and appreciate the tools laid out to solve them. They realize that it is in everybody’s interest to avoid the slippery Greek slope of hopelessness.

In a swipe at those on the Left who accuse the current conservative government of antidemocratic tendencies, Borókai contends that the public “does not trust those who brought  the country to this pass,….. thus discrediting the democratic institutions, and who now try to evoke a doomsday mood, because matters do not develop to their taste.”