More and more German pensioners are settling in and around Lake Balaton. According to the mayors interviewed by the Somogy news portal, the cheaper prices, public safety and Hungarian hospitality are the reasons why foreigners are choosing to spend the rest of their lives in Hungary. Many have also started learning Hungarian.
The village of Szőlősgyörök, eight kilometers from Lake Balaton, has some 600 properties. More than 10 percent of the houses are owned by foreigners, mainly Germans. According to Péter Klotz, the mayor of the village, German pensioners who used to spend their holidays at Lake Balaton are settling here.
“In the past few years, five German couples have moved in, and the latest addition is a new family this year,” said Péter Klotz. The mayor also explained that the Germans have integrated very well into the Györök community.
“They actively participate in all our programs, even in the very Hungarian events, which they don’t really understand, but we explain to them what it’s all about. They are interested in Hungarian culture, and sometimes they even support the events with donations,” the mayor added. Klotz said he had spoken to several German pensioners who told him that they choose Hungary because they cannot tolerate German migrant policy.
Gábor Lombár, mayor of Balatonfenyves and president of the Balaton Association (BSZ), told the portal: “Germans have been in the village for years and bought a building. Of the 5,300 or so properties, around 300 are foreign-owned.”
The head of the municipality pointed out that since most of the houses are owned by Germans, they organize an annual forum for residents in German. German pensions can buy more here, even though Lake Balaton is not cheap, the BSZ president pointed out.
“Of course, we are happy that foreigners are coming to us, but my personal fear is that with such property prices, young Hungarians will not be able to stay here and will have to make a living elsewhere,” stressed the mayor of Balatonfenyves.