June 22, 2021, morning: Visit to the village of Kechnec

   On June 22, I visited the village of Kechnec and met with its mayor, Mr. Jozef Konkoly. The village of Kechnec is located south of Košice near the border with Hungary. Historically, it has always been a place where an important trade route connecting Hungary with Poland passed. A motorway is currently being built on the Hungarian side, and the motorway section on the Slovak side is expected to be completed in the near future, the interconnection of which will significantly improve and speed up access from Hungary to the east of Slovakia. 

   The Mayor Konkoly has been in the office continuously since 1990, so for more than 30 years. During that time, he devoted himself fully to the development of the village - he ensured the construction of the necessary infrastructure in order to open an industrial park after 2000, which would have the potential to attract companies and enterprises. This effort has borne real fruit. While 600 people lived in the village when he became mayor, today the number has doubled to 1,200. In addition, businesses set up in the industrial park have created jobs for another 3,500 people. The Mayor of Konkoly is therefore the driving force behind the great success of rural revitalization. In 2009, he was awarded a government award for his efforts.
   During the interview with Mayor Konkoly, I perceived the intense passion and devotion of the mayor for his community and its surroundings. I understood why he had become such a successful leader. The village of Kechnec was visited by both the president and the prime minister of Slovakia, which in itself speaks of the importance of the mayor of Kechnec. However, he modestly contradicts that he did nothing more than go for the development of his community.
   Mayor Konkoly's dreams do not end. He set himself another challenge, which is to build a kind of European school that would emphasize the intensive teaching of foreign languages such as English or German. I agree with the belief of Mayor Konkoly that today requires such an education for future generations that will enable them to respond to the constant diversification of society. In addition, the Mayor has already developed a model of an aqua park, in which, in addition to swimming pools, athletic sports grounds and a football pitch would also be built. I admired for his energy and zeal for the development of the village of Kechnec. The Mayor would like to establish partner mayors with a Japanese town. I will be happy to assist him in this effort.
   After meeting with Mayor Konkoly, I moved to the premises of Marelli Kechnec, located in the industrial park. The director of the company, Mr. Vajda, explained to me what type of production they were dealing with, and the plant manager of the Power train part, Mr. Sesuto Guisarma, showed me the production hall itself. During this inspection, I was informed that the company is engaged in the design and manufacture of systems for fuel injection into automobile engines and exhaust gas treatment systems. The company entered the Kechnec Industrial Park under the name of the world-famous Italian company Magneti Marelli, but in 2019 the company merged with the Japanese company Calsonic Kansei, while the name Marelli remained in use. Although it is already a Japanese company, Japanese employees do not work in Slovakia. It was encouraging for me to hear that, despite the pandemic of a new type of coronavirus, the company is doing well and expects increased sales in response to the growing European market demand for products with such advanced technology as Marelli. Based on the experience gained in Marelli, I assume that such companies with high technological capabilities can survive in the market even in a problematic pandemic situation, although in the case of the automotive industry, companies are currently struggling with missing electronic chips.