Hungarians seem well aware that the EU sends a great deal of money to their country, and largely for this reason, they also support membership of the bloc.
However, according to a poll by the progressive think tank, Policy Solutions, Hungarians also believe that a significant amount of EU funding is stolen or misspent in their country, and would prefer the EU to exercise stricter control over the use of its funds.
The poll suggests these views are held not just by Hungarians in general but also by a majority of Fidesz voters.
A separate poll, conducted by the IDEA Institute, found that 40 per cent of Fidesz voters support the view that the EU should suspend funding for member states that undermine the rule of law, and a further 27 per cent accepted that such measures should also apply to Hungary. Both these polls indicate that Fidesz supporters accept there is corruption within the party’s ranks but do not regard it as a decisive issue.
They echo a common refrain heard in village pubs: “Of course Fidesz steals, just like the Socialists did. But at least they care about the national interest and do not let in immigrants!”