Majority of Hungarians support higher military spending

Adaptive Hussars 2023 military exercise. (TEK/Miklós Teknős)
By Dénes Albert
2 Min Read

An overwhelming majority of Hungarians agree with the government’s decision to ramp up defense spending in light of the ongoing conflict in neighboring Ukraine, according to a poll conducted by Real-PR 93 for Hungarian newspaper Magyar Nemzet.

Three-quarters of the population support the purchase of modern military equipment and an increase in soldiers’ salaries, while more than two-thirds support increased military recruitment.

Ukraine has been at war for almost two years, and in early October war broke out in the Middle East. Amid global strife, the question of strengthening the Hungarian Defense Forces has become more important, but it was already on the agenda, as NATO has set a target for countries to increase their defense spending to 2 percent of annual GDP.

The poll shows that 76 percent support buying modern military equipment and higher soldier salaries, with 18 percent against more military equipment and only 13 percent against increasing soldiers’ salaries. In addition, 69 percent agree that the number of soldiers should also be increased, with 23 percent disagreeing.

Eighty-eight percent of the adult population supports at least one of the three armed forces’ development goals listed, while 58 percent of Hungarians support all three.

In the countryside, support for the development of the defense forces is markedly stronger than in Budapest, with 78 percent of rural residents supporting the purchase of modern military equipment and an increase in soldiers’ salaries, while 72 percent support an increase in staff numbers. In the capital, on the other hand, the proportion of those in favor of more soldiers is only 56 percent, while 65 percent support an increase in salaries and 71 percent support the purchase of modern military equipment.

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