Fact Check: Children's Rehabilitation Center In Agárd NOT Turned Into Hotel For Migrant Workers


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Fact Check: Children's Rehabilitation Center In Agárd NOT Turned Into Hotel For Migrant Workers Still Working

Was a rehabilitation center for children affected by muscular atrophy turned into a hotel for migrant workers, in Agárd, on Lake Velence, in Hungary? No, that's not true: The rehabilitation center is still operational while the connected Sport Hotel, a barrier-free facility nearby, suspended its services and reportedly rented its rooms to workers of a nearby factory.

The claim appeared in a TikTok video (archived here) published by user @polgarmester on July 20, 2023, under the title "About the resort of Agárd." This is the account of the mayor of a small Hungarian village, Drávaszerdahely, Alpár György. In the video, he said:

I already said that the resort of Agárd was occupied by migrant guest workers who produce batteries in Iváncsa. [...] This was a rehabilitation center for children suffering from muscular atrophy which was unique in the country and technically, it ceased working. There is no place for rehabilitation, to care for children with muscular atrophy.

(Translations from Hungarian into English by Lead Stories staff).

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:


(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Fri Jul 21 05:40:44 2023 UTC)

Leading Hungarian online newspaper hvg.hu recently published a story on a barrier-free hotel on the shores of Lake Velence now used as housing for foreign workers employed at a battery factory in a neighbouring village, Iváncsa. The hotel is reportedly fully booked by the guest workers for the next two years. This, though, is a different facility, although close to the care center: The children rehabilitation and special care center is located on the same property, but it is still open and working, and is not occupied by foreign workers, according to hvg.hu.

The Sport Hotel was renovated as part of the work done on Lake Velence Watersport School (Velencei-tavi Vízi Sportiskola), which was funded by the EU. They spent 2,25 billion HUF (6,562,741 USD) to turn the sport facility into an early development center, a service center for disabled people and a barrier-free sport hotel.

According to hvg.hu, Gyógyító Jószándék Alapítvány, a foundation working with kids suffering from muscular atrophy, booked the ten wheelchair-accessible rooms at the Sport Hotel every summer for a camp catering for disabled kids and their families. A representative of the foundation told the newspaper that they could not book the rooms this year and that they might organize the camp at lake Balaton, adding that barrier-free accommodation is much smaller, elsewhere.

Hvg.hu reached out to the owner of the complex, Pro Rekreatione Közhasznú Nonprofit Kft. The CEO Csaba Deák confirmed that they suspended their touristic services due to significant economic losses during the pandemic. He highlighted that their early development center and disabled care center are still working, on full capacity, adding that they catered to 9,000 kids last year.


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