Tamás Szûcs

Hungarians trust EU, pessimistic about economy

February 24, 2011

Trust in the European Union is especially strong among Hungarians but very few believe the Hungarian economy will improve soon, a Eurobarometer survey conducted in November 2010 shows.



80% of Hungarians think that the EU's word counts in the world, compared to the European average of 65%, while 57% of Hungarians are optimistic about the future of the bloc, the survey published on Thursday found.

At the same time, 53% have a feeling of security due to the country's EU membership.

But when it comes to assessing their own lives, Hungarians are far less positive than their European peers. Only half of respondents were satisfied with their lives, compared to a European average of 78%. Fully 93% see their own country's situation in a negative light compared to 70% in other EU member states.

Moreover, Hungarians are pessimistic about the future, and very few believe their own material situation will improve or the country's position on the employment front or economy will take a turn for the better. Similarly Hungarians do not see the EU's position or the world at large doing better in these areas.

In autumn 2009, 38% of Hungarians thought the country had overcome the worst of the global economic crisis while in the latest survey 54% thought the same.

Tamás Szûcs, the head of the European Commission's representation to Hungary, noted that trust in the government and parliament had grown since last spring and was significantly higher than the EU average: whereas only 28% trust their governments, in Hungary 48% do.

Reducing unemployment and improving the economy are the most burning issues for Hungarians, followed by electricity-price rises, health care, the public debt, crime and pensions.

The Hungarian part of the survey was conducted on behalf of Eurobarometer by Tarki with a sample of one thousand adults.




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