Everybody mistook everyone else for a refugee in Nagymágocs

Author: Erika KOVÁCS Original title:  Mindenki mindenkit menekültnek nézett Nagymágocson
Publication: delmagyar.hu , Photo: Zoltán Gergely KELEMEN Date: 06:17 19/09/2015

Everybody mistook everyone else for a refugee in Nagymágocs 

Nagymágocs – Public workers and land surveyors mistook each other for migrants near Nagymágocs (a village in Csongrád county in the southern part of Hungary – trans.). They got scared of one another. The latter group kept jumping in and out of the cornfield, while the team of public workers rushed to their bicycles to head back to the village. The situation that appears comical in retrospect was cleared up by the police.

News spread in Nagymágocs that two hundred refugees would be housed in the village – which is not true. The false information was based on the supposed sighting of migrants by public workers near the village.

Yesterday we visited the team doing public work. They were working about a distance of 5 kilometers (3.1 miles – trans.) from Nagymágocs, clearing a ditch overgrown with trees. They told the story with hearty laughter.

“In hindsight, it was like a comedy. But back then we did get a little scared”, team leader Zsolt Csipkés said.

Ildikó Lakatos started the story: “Éva Udvardi and I collect twigs. Éva noticed that a couple of metres away a man stepped out of the ditch and pulled back just as quickly. Csaba Kerekes and I then saw the man in question cross the road and hide in the cornfield.”

“We immediately thought that the man is probably a migrant, this is the reason why he is hiding. Krisztián Bodzsár has a motorbike. We told him to start on it immediately to check on our bicycles. We left our bikes farther away and we were afraid that the migrant might take one of them to flee,” continued Éva Udvardi.

“I set off with my motorcycle and saw two other men jump into the cornfield,” added Krisztián Bodzsár. “This raised the seriousness of the situation. Back then, at least.”

In the meantime, teamleader Zsolt Csipkés called their boss and informed him about the happenings.

“He called the police and told us to get back to the village.”

Everybody rode his bike at his or her own pace. They met the police about halfway to the village, at the small bridge.

“Anton, a brown-faced kid was the first one the police officers happened upon. He got close to being arrested by them. He was told to put his bike down and sit in the police van. They must have thought that he was one of the migrants. Zsolti Bader got there next and told the police not to take Anton away because he was with us. It was plain to see that Anton was so scared he could not say a word. Later he laughed at the whole thing too”, informed us Csaba Kerekes.

Endre Szebellédi, the mayor of Nagymágocs, told us the end of the story.

“The police informed me later that the people mistaken for migrants by the public workers were land surveyors. According to the public workers the land surveyors probably also mistook them for migrants, this is why they hid in the cornfield. After these events, rumors spread in the village that two hundred migrants had been taken to Nagymágocs. They say a group of them were put up in the tourist hostel and the rest in what used to be a nursing home on Kossuth street. Migrants have not been brought to Nagymágocs, by the way. Our town was not even under consideration by the relevant authorities. Our municipal government would protest the establishment of a refugee camp here anyway”, said Endre Szebellédi.

He added that in one way or another everyone is concerned with the migrant situation. Prior to the wave of refugees, public workers and land surveyors would not have been scared from each other in the cornfields.

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