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Olympic bonuses criticized

August 27th, 2012

A liberal weekly considers the lavish financial rewards offered to Olympic finalists by the government disproportionately large.

With 8 gold, 4 silver and 5 bronze medals, Hungary finished 9th on the London Olympics medal table. The government, following a proposal by the Hungarian Olympic Committee, decided to offer bonuses to athletes who finished among the first eight. Gold medal winners will receive 35 million, silver medalists 25 million and bronze medalists 20 million Forints. The coaches of finalists will also be offered financial rewards. The total cost of the bonuses will amount to 2,17 billion Forints.

“Is it good for us that Hungarian Olympic medalists live off the state?” Magyar Narancs asks. The weekly points out that Olympic medalists will also be entitled to a special pension from the age of 35 and the state also subsidizes their sporting careers through various channels. Taking all this into account, Magyar Narancs finds the bonuses excessive.

If the government wants to advance the public good, it should promote kids sports clubs, Magyar Narancs remarks, and suggests that the government simply wants to increase its popularity by offering perks to highly popular athletes.

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