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Friday, 18th April 2014

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Most Hungarians feel life was better under communism

The majority of Hungarians believe that life was better in the János Kádár era before Communism collapsed in 1989-90, according to a survey by market researchers Gfk Piackutató.

In all, 62% of the 1,000 people interviewed in the survey said they were happiest in the period preceding the change of regime, up from 53% in 2001. Those favouring the Kádár era were generally the elderly rather than the young, and those with lesser schooling. The number saying that the pre-1990 era was the worst fell from 20% in 2001 to 13% today.

Only 14% of respondents said the period since 1990 has been their happiest, while 60% said it has been the least happy, compared to 17% and 48% seven years ago.

Another 11% chose the period before the Second World War as the best, down from 14% in 2001.

Some 80% of those 50 years of age or older consider the time before the change of regime happier. Nearly 75% of those aged 40-49, and 55% of those who were students and young adults during the late 1980s concur, whereas only 24% of those aged 15-29 agree.

Sociologist Pál Tamás of the Academy of Sciences sociology institute told Népszabadság that the poll does not reflect political nostalgia. "In general this region was less happy in the 1990s than Western Europe. It has been shown that an East German who has a job is less happy than a jobless West German. The struggle and the basic feeling of 'I have been promised much and I received little' characterises this region," he said.

Both Tamás and political scientist Zoltán Kiszelly said the poll - which they said possibly applied to the middle and late Kádár era - expressed a yearning for a sense of security.


Source: Politics.Hu

See also: the Budapest Times