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Hungarians see corruption worsening, TI survey says

Hungarians believe corruption in the country is getting worse and more than half believe the actions of the government against corruption are insufficient, József Péter Martin, the executive director of Transparency International Hungary, said today in Budapest, announcing the results of TI’s Global Corruption Barometer, according to reports.

As the barometer shows, Hungarian society feels powerless against corruption, an attitude which further encourages passivity and insecurity, Martin was reported as saying. 

Based on the survey, TI said that one-third of Hungarian citizens believe the political elite to be corrupt, Hungarian news portal index.hu reported. Some 28% of Hungarians said they believe corruption is a serious issue in Hungary today, while 29% said the migration crisis is also a serious matter. Martin said that “street corruption” is the most visible in the healthcare sector, with every fifth respondent in TI’s survey admitting to having paid healthcare workers in the national healthcare service in the hope of better treatment, index.hu reported.

Another issue Martin was reported mentioning is a declining willingness to file reports with the relevant authorities for suspected corrupt practices. However, while the older generation seems passive in this regard, young people are seen to be more willing to step up against corruption, index.hu reported. However, only 14% of respondents said they believed average people can act against corruption.

Gábor Zupkó, head of the European Commission’s representation in Budapest, stressed during the announcement of TI’s findings that corruption is not only harmful to society, but can seriously hurt competitiveness and investment.

TI’s Global Corruption Barometer focuses on the experiences of citizens in countries worldwide, including almost 60,000 respondents in 42 countries. A total of 1,501 Hungarians were surveyed by TI in the period from December 2015 to May 2016.