Special Report

12 Countries That Hate Their Government Most

4. Czech Republic
> Pct. approving of government: 15%
> Pct. believe gov’t corruption widespread: 87% (15th highest)
> Unemployment rate (2013): 7.0% (60th highest)

Just 15% of Czechs approved of their government, and 87% believed corruption was a common occurrence among state officials, both among the worst rates in the world. Unlike many other former communist nations, the Czech Republic’s economy developed relatively fast. The country joined NATO in 1999. In 2004, the Czech Republic also became a member of the EU, and in 2007 it became a member of the Schengen area, which allows free movement between member countries in Europe. However, many residents are unhappy with EU leadership as well, with just 30% approving as of last year.

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3. Greece
> Pct. approving of government: 14%
> Pct. believe gov’t corruption widespread: 91% (tied-2nd highest)
> Unemployment rate (2013): 27.3% (2nd highest)

Greece had the second highest debt to GDP ratio in the world last year, at over 175%. In 2012, the country defaulted on its bonds, triggering massive losses for investors. But while both Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s recently upgraded Greece because said they see improvement in its fiscal position and economic outlook, residents have had to deal with the austerity measures that were the conditions of the country’s bailouts. Austerity measures in Greece have increased the appeal of fringe left- and right-wing political groups, both of which performed well in recent elections. This year, just 14% of Greeks approved of their leaders. Just 23% and 29% approved of the leadership of the EU and Germany, respectively, while just 19% of Greeks had confidence in financial institutions.

2. Bulgaria
> Pct. approving of government: 13%
> Pct. believe gov’t corruption widespread: 79% (42nd highest)
> Unemployment rate (2013): 13.0% (22nd highest)

Since the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe in the 1990s, Bulgaria has struggled to make the transition to a market economy. While the country has initiated some reform — enough to be admitted to the EU in 2007 — poor living conditions and political unrest continued to plague the country. In 2013, nearly 80% of Bulgarians surveyed believed government corruption was widespread. Last year,, protests erupted after reports became widespread that collusion between the government and foreign-owned conglomerates caused a surge in fuel prices. And while former Bulgarian president Boiko Borisov resigned amid the protests, his party won enough votes to retain control of parliament this year, narrowing the possibility that Bulgarians’ attitudes toward their government will improve.

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1. Bosnia and Herzegovina
> Pct. approving of government: 8%
> Pct. believe gov’t corruption widespread: 91% (tied-2nd highest)
> Unemployment rate (2013): 27.0% (3rd highest)

Bosnia and Herzegovina had the world’s lowest government approval rating, with only 8% of respondents stating that they approved of their own leadership. Additionally, 91% of people surveyed stated they believed corruption was widespread in government, tied for the second highest percentage in the world. Unemployment was also a problem in the country, as 27% of the workforce did not have a job last year, one of the worst rates globally. Deep ethnic tensions remain in the country, even nearly two decades after the Bosnian War, with government authorities, media entities, and even schools often split up along ethnic lines.

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