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Right-wing takes on well-being

December 16th, 2013

A pro-government columnist pondering the latest opinion poll on public trust contends that the Orbán government has restored some of the authority democratic institutions lost under past left-wing governments. Another conservative pundit accuses the left of alarmism which strengthens negative attitudes in the country.

Trust towards democratic institutions has slightly increased under the Orbán government, Miklós Ugró in Magyar Nemzet comments on a survey published by TÁRKI. Although Hungarians still consider corruption a huge problem, they have more trust in most public bodies, the pro-government columnist sums up the findings of the TÁRKI report which is a follow up to a previous survey conducted in 2009. People seem to be less dissatisfied with political parties, the media, the government, the opposition, the police, the National Bank and other public institutions, as well as the legal system in general. Ugró adds however that it would be complacent to assume that since 2010 things have completely changed. Those who in 2009 were most unhappy with the socialist-liberal government most probably voted for Fidesz, and the simple fact that there is a new government gives them hope and increases their trust towards democratic institutions in general. Nonetheless, in light of the above numbers it seems groundless to assume that the Orbán government destroyed or even weakened democratic institutions and the rule of law, as the opposition parties like to claim, Ugró concludes.

The left-wing opposition misses no opportunity to suggest that life in Hungary is unbearable, Ágnes Seszták writes in the same daily, in a comment on the global suffering report published by Gallup Inc. According to this survey, the Hungarian population is the fifth on the list of 143 countries in terms of perceived suffering and deprivation. Among the top 20 countries, Hungary has the second largest GDP per capita (following Greece, which is the 17th most miserable place according to the poll). The conservative commentator suggests that the subjective feeling of misery in Hungary is largely the result of the “media terror” coming from the left-wing opposition parties which suggest that Hungary is comparable to the worst places in the world.

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