“How much is the net salary per month in Hungary?” That is what Blikk asked from foreigner people. Though the answers were surprising according to Hungarian measures, the interviewees were even more astonished when they learnt the truth.
The following responses were gathered: 805 euros, 1000-1500 euros, 3000 euros, 3000 dollars and 3225 euros.
Then came the moment of truth: foreigners were told that in fact the average net income in Hungary is 600-700 euros. Some respondents cracked up in laughing, and many said that it is very low. A man noted that it is half of the average salary in England. Another man stated that no one can survive with this, maybe only if they work in two shifts.
Someone even claimed that it is a “bad joke”. One of the foreigner respondents showed some optimism asking: “it’s gonna be better, because how much was it ten years ago?” He mentioned that 600 euro was a big sum before joining the EU. “If your country is richer, it can pay more,” he added, then he stated: „Judging is easy. Everyone can judge. No. Find the solution, that’s better.”
A man, who was less surprised by the facts, only said: „Well, it is Eastern Europe, so salaries are lower.”
A young man called it “astounding”, and he could not imagine how one could survive with only 600 euros a month. “Yeah, it is quite embarrassing,” his friend added.
A podium discussion was held in Budapest two weeks ago about raising salaries. ETUI’s (European Trade Union Institute) professional Béla Galgóczi introduced his study titled Why is it necessary to raise salaries in Eastern Europe?, then the opportunities were discussed by the leaders of the trade unions. Jobbik’s Wage Union initiation was also a subject of the debate. House speaker from Fidesz, László Kövér stated earlier that Eastern Europeans are satisfied with less.