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Reader feedback: A disillusioned reader

Re: Fundamentals missing from Slovak economy, Readers feedback, Volume 12, Number 15, April 17- April 23, 2006

I have become completely disillusioned by unbridled capitalism and believe Slovakia is heading for disaster for a number of reasons. Some of your problems are historic and due to the country's small size. Because Slovakia has only recently had to fend for itself as a single economic unit, and not as a province in an empire of some sort, it rushed headlong into handing over its finances and institutions to the EU empire, in the belief that it is not actually a viable state on its own.

The other problem is that EU rules forced Slovakia to give up many of its rights in the name of fostering economic growth, yet France and Germany are allowed to just ignore those same rules. You will soon see the true fruits of the automotive investment that you think is your saving grace and the result of having sold your national assets. French and German car manufacturers are using you as politically acceptable, local Asians. You do the same jobs for less money, less benefits, reduced working conditions, etc. When a new and poorer semi-industrialised state is found, though, those very companies will be gone in seconds, leaving all of Slovakia outside the capital looking like the post-industrial wastelands of England's Midlands and northern regions.

It is vital to safeguard what you can. Protect your industries and let them grow organically, since the rush for equality with the "old" EU is what will eventually lead to stagnation. And develop as many innovative industries under Slovak ownership as you can, even if you have to supply state funding. Otherwise, just look at Coventry for a glimpse of what your future will hold.

Luke Rogers,
Gloucester, England

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