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Majority of Poles and Hungarians unhappy about government’s handling of the pandemic

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Budapest, Hungary – A majority of the population in Poland and Hungary are unhappy about their respective government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, a recent study indicates.

According to the Democracy Perception Index 2021, a majority of respondents (58%, down 12 percentage points compared to one year ago) in the 53 countries surveyed rank positively their government’s handling of the global pandemic, with satisfaction peaking at 96% in Vietnam.

Most of the populations surveyed in Europe and Latin America consider their government is not responding well to the crisis, with the least satisfied results found in Brazil (19%), Peru (27%), Poland (27%), France (27%) and Italy (28%). On the contrary, public opinion in Asian countries has remained positive over the past year.

In Hungary, about one third of respondents assessed their government’s handling of the pandemic positively.

Source: Democracy Perception Index 2021

In both Poland (-30 percentage points) and Hungary (-28 pp), the population’s opinion of the authorities’ response to the crisis dropped dramatically compared to the spring of 2020.

Only a handful of countries among the more than 50 surveyed have seen their opinion improve in the last 12 months (Vietnam, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Algeria, Hong Kong, Russia and Chile).

Furthermore, slightly more than half of the world’s population (53%) consider their government has gone too far in limiting basic freedoms as a response to the crisis, according to the survey.

Around 65% of Poles (+19 pp year-on-year) and 53% of Hungarians (+23 pp) agree with that statement and are concerned public authorities have done too much in restricting fundamental freedoms during the pandemic.

For more detailed results, you can download the complete study here.

Coordinated by Ábel Bede, Kafkadesk's Budapest office is made up of a growing team of freelance journalists, editors and fact-checkers passionate about Hungarian affairs and dedicated to bringing you all the latest news, events and insights from Hungary.