Slovakia is an accomplice to the crime
In granting Slovak citizenship to the American kidnapper and fugitive, Eva Slobodová, ["My Daughter is a prisoner" by Martina Pisárová, Vol. 7 No. 18, May 7-13] Slovakia officially becomes an accessory after the fact to the woman's crime.
If the Slovak Interior Ministry was actually unaware of the circumstances involved at the time of granting her citizenship, it certainly knows all the facts presently. Anything acquired under false pretences can and should be revoked by the Slovak government.
Justice Minister Ján Čarnogurský is simply hiding behind the cloak of convenience when he pretends that neither Slobodová nor her kidnapped child, Emily, can be returned to the US because of their Slovak citizenship.
Slovakia is establishing a dangerous precedent by aiding, abetting and harbouring criminal fugitives from justice, especially when it wants so much to be recognised as a legitimate partner in the international community of nations and to be admitted to the EU.
Why doesn't Slovakia just do the right thing and revoke Slobodová's citizenship and extradite her to the US to face criminal charges? Or, simply use the provisions of the existing Hague Convention to return Emily, born an American citizen, back to her homeland and father?
Does the name "Elian Gonzales" ring a bell to anyone in Slovakia?
Peelers or knives, it's worth the effort
It was interesting to read your views ["Foreign Affairs: Mixed couples: A bumpy, enriching ride" by Tom Nicholson, Vol. 7 No. 18, May 7-13] but... I am a Slovak woman and I always use a potato peeler to peel potatoes. I am over 50, and you can feel free to criticise Mr. Mečiar when I am present. It was in the US where for the first time in my life I heard the saying "Love it or leave it" (and I really loved it and am grateful for having had an opportunity to see a different culture, habits, school system etc.).
Anyway, I agree with you that contemplating marriage to a person from a different culture always requires a bit of thought.
I am a male Australian (with a Slovak father) married to a Slovak woman ["Foreign Affairs: Mixed couples: A bumpy, enriching ride" by Tom Nicholson, Vol. 7 No. 18, May 7-13].
It's a big toll for people like my wife to lose their culture, family and friends. But, coupled with far too many trips back to Slovakia, your partner finally adjusts, especially with e-mail and frequent telephone calls. The hard work is more than worth the effort. My friends all envy me.
Tourism, promotion the road to riches
Why does Slovakia have to focus on trivial matters? ["Slovakia's growth - how can it be put in higher gear?" By Ján Tóth Vol. 7 No. 17, April 30-May 6]. Why not focus on tourism as western countries do? As far as I'm aware (being a 17 year-old Canadian-born girl of Slovak ancestry), Slovakia's mountains have the potential to compete with other world-renowned resorts.
Did Slovakia forget about her natural resources? My suggestion: Get the Olympics to create international awareness and foreign investment. After that, who knows?
As a resident of Vermont, whose economy is based on tourism, and having seen the beauty of the Slovak countryside, I concur with K.M. that an improvement to Slovakia's tourism infrastructure could help the Slovak economy. However, I do not believe that tourism should be the centrepiece of a Slovak economic upturn.
For years I have tried to convince several central European countries, including Slovakia, to organise a concerted marketing effort promoting Slovak products to US consumers. As the largest group of buyers in today's world, the US is responsible for keeping the economies of China, Taiwan, Indonesia, and Malaysia afloat with its purchasing power.
If a marketing plan were created in which large and midsize Slovak companies and the Slovak government would pool financial resources to create a "Buy Slovak" campaign in the US, I believe that the benefits would be both enormous and long-lasting.
Establishing market shares in specific areas of the States' purchasing pool could generate millions - perhaps billions - of dollars in export revenue for Slovakia. This would create a long-lasting cure for the sluggish Slovak economy. C'mon, guys - let's go!
Consular office for those with the Midas touch
Dobro Rano! My family is from the Slovak Republic. I am very interested in serving your country as an Honorary Consul ["Want to be an Honorary Consul?" by Matthew J. Reynolds Vol. 7 No. 17 April 30-May 6]. It is without question that this is a job for a person with the Midas touch and professionalism, both of which I have learned through my business ventures.
Please arrange an interview as soon as possible for me to fill the post.
Can you send me further information about this article? ["Want to be an Honorary Consul?" by Matthew J. Reynolds Vol. 7 No. 17 April 30-May 6].
I'm going to take a postgraduate course at Comenius University in Bratislava on international law. I'm from Mexico and I'm very interested in serving your country and sharing the Mexican culture.
14. May 2001 at 0:00