Ocseny reelects mayor resigned over refugees row

Janos Fulop, independent mayor of Ocseny, a village of 2,400 in south-west Hungary was reelected on Sunday in the early elections which followed his resignation in September.

The small village of Ocseny made international headlines in September. A local hotelier offered a free holiday at his guesthouse to a group of refugees, and his offer provoked backlash. His van’s tires were slashed and angry locals railed against him, Zoltan Fenyvevsi said he even received a death threat. The controversy also triggered the resignation of the long-time mayor, Janos Fulop.

A town hall meeting in Ocseny to discuss Fenyvesi’s offer, raised jointly with Migration Aid, a group set up to help migrants, descended into angry shouting and locals voicing fears of violence and robbery if migrants showed up. “Who can guarantee that the little boys and girls will not be harmed, like we heard of in other countries?” shouted a middle-aged woman in footage taken at the scene by local media.

“Who will protect you if they sneak into your property at night and beat you to death?” she said. Fenyvesi told Reuters that he had wanted to set a positive example after learning that a previous attempt to host some migrants for a holiday near Lake Balaton fell through due to local opposition. Fenyvesi abandoned the project because of the outcry.

In the early elections on Sunday, Fulop received 592 votes, coming before three other independent candidates.

Source: Hungary Journal/FT/Reuters
Photo: Ocseny.hu

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