With Hungary’s domestic food inflation rate more than double the EU average, public opinion in the country is increasingly blaming the EU’s sanctions policy instead of the economic policies of the government, according to a new Publicus Institute poll commissioned by Népszava.
The poll’s results demonstrate the power of government propaganda to shape the narrative on this issue, alleges the Hungarian daily. Last December, 47% of Hungarians believed that Brussels was responsible for the rise in prices in Hungary, but this number had grown to 63% in February.
Poll respondents were divided into three categories: pro-government, opposition, and undecided. The proportion of those who blame Brussels increased in all three groups, but most significantly among the undecided, where it jumped from 38% to 57%.
Other results from the poll showed changes in public opinion regarding inflation on food products:
- Last year, 86% of Hungarians considered the country’s weak currency responsible for price increases, but now only 75% believe this is a factor
- Also last year, 74% of the population thought that government’s economic policy had contributed to the rise in prices, while today this ratio is only 65%.
- The proportion of those who blame retail stores for higher food prices increased, from 63% last year to 77% now, but even this may be attributed to propaganda from the government. As HVG notes, the Economic Competition Office recently made an intense effort to investigate the reason for high prices in Hungary’s retail outlets. [HVG]