Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

Reader feedback: Confession of a Slovak who will come back

Re: Spain opening labour market to EU newcomers, News briefs, March 6 - March 12, 2006

I am a Slovak working in a wholesale travel agent based in central London. First of all, David, labour from Eastern Europe is no longer interested in working just as nannies or waitresses. Whether this is good or not is debatable, 'cos, honestly, if I weren't here, someone else would be, and it very likely would be a British national. However, nationality is no longer an issue in fields such as sport. Take Arsenal for example, when Ashley Cole and Sol Campbell are out injured, I am not sure if [head coach] Arsene Wenger can put a single UK or English national on the pitch in a starting line up at all, yet Arsenal's games are always sold out, right here, in London.

My point is that, for any private company really, today's competitive world only requires that you can do the job your manager expects and your nationality - just like gender, race, etc. - are pushed aside. This is a new phenomenon as I see it and experience it right here in London.

To have cheap and hard-working Poles rebuild your neighbour's loft makes economic sense to your neighbour, but not for company XY, which employs British builders, who would have been given the job had the Poles not been allowed to come work legally. So your neighbours, the Poles, and their British competitors all see the situation from different perspectives and have their individual truths.

So, gentlemen, I think that opening the gate to Eastern Europe is generous, but brings competition right to your door step and puts you under pressure, which is good for customers, but not as welcome when you are affected by the competition.

And lastly, speaking for myself, I am determined to find my way here in this multinational society called London, but will definitely take my experience back home to Slovakia, as I believe that this is the way to catch up and progress. I pay taxes here, rent, food, transportation, so I cannot really be blamed for being here. There are only a few from Eastern Europe who go to your countries with the deliberate intention of misusing the social systems and I very much hope your governments will restrict those people in favour of your own citizens.

Peter, London,
UK

Top stories

EU roaming fees to end on June 15 – in theory

Slovak customers still waiting to find out how mobile operators will implement change.

Archaeologist pieces together early history of what is now western Slovakia Photo

For an archaeologist, the most important thing is his most recent rare discovery, says Július Vavák.

Students visited Svätý Jur as part of their European Wanderer project

How to sell Slovak books to English readers

Slovak literature makes it to the big bookstores of London, but it is unlikely to become a bestseller yet.

On Wednesday, Slovak literature will be presented in one of the biggest bookstores in London. Among the new books translated into English is also the anthology of current Slovak prose selected and translated by Magdalena Mullek and Júlia Sherwood.

General Prosecutor filed a motion for the dissolution of ĽSNS

The Slovak Supreme Court received a motion to dissolve the extreme right ĽSNS party founded and led by Marian Kotleba.

Jaromír Čižnár