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Young Hungarians not buying government claim that West is in decline

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The vast majority of young Hungarians still believe that they can thrive much better in Western European countries, according to a new Median poll commissioned by HVG.

An overwhelming majority of young people believe that the quality of life in the West is far better than in Hungary in almost every respect, from economic development to the quality of human relations to the fight against corruption, the poll shows. The data also reveals that although Hungarians between 18-29 years old have a lot in common with the opinions of those aged between 30-39, Fidesz’s two-million-strong voter bloc still comprises a huge group.

Three-quarters of people in Hungary believe that their country is far behind the West in terms of quality of life, which means that even pro-government voters question the reality of Viktor Orbán’s mantra that “the West has lost its appeal in the eyes of Central Europe.”

The most satisfied with their lot are those who are unable or unwilling to criticize government measures. They typically have at least 8 years of education, a monthly household income of less than 100,000 Ft. (US $307), mostly live in small towns, and are retired, meaning they are most vulnerable. “These are the ones who have suffered over the last 10–12 years,” economist Péter Ákos Bod told HVG.

The middle class has also benefited significantly from government policies and has not experienced the austerity that other groups have had to endure. One might conclude that the affluent are then united in their enthusiasm for the Orbán government and the poor are in opposition, but the poll shows that this is far from the case.

[HVG]

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