Old Town marred by too many vehicles
Over the years, misguided planners and insensitive architects have inflicted deep wounds on Bratislava, throwing up brutal blocks and cutting the castle off from the old town with a roaring motorway. This has left a city which it is sometimes difficult to love.
At least the old town is an oasis of historic buildings, cobbled alleys and street cafes. Or, so it should be. Unfortunately, the idea of the city centre being a pedestrian zone is being eroded. Increasing numbers of cars race up and down Panská and Michalská Streets, spewing fumes over afternoon drinkers, scattering strolling groups with blasts of the horn and generally shattering the peace.
It is reasonable to allow delivery vehicles in before 10 a.m., but what restrictions there are for the rest of the day have lapsed. This morning (Friday, May 12) from 10 to 10.15 a.m. I sat in Hviezdoslav Square opposite the Hotel Danube and watched as the policemen at the barrier let through two lorries and 24 cars; of these, three were briefly stopped and questioned, and three others bothered to show pass cards. None were refused entry. If the number of vehicles entering the 'Korzo' is not limited, then the actions of a selfish minority will have been allowed to spoil the pleasure of the majority.
Slovaks deserved gold medal
I am a three year past resident of Slovakia, and I am at this moment sitting at home awaiting surgery. Under any other circumstances, I would this second book a flight to Prague. I would gladly march around the center of town carrying a sign reading "This Texan thinks that Slovakia deserves the GOLD!" Great game, guys, and great spirit, people.
No more skinheads
First we read about brutal attacks with punches, then with brickbats, and now an armed attack ["Skinheads attack refugee," By Chris Togneri, Vol. 6 No. 18, May 8-14] on these innocents by the uncivilised skinheads. When will the police or the government act on on this small group which openly defies the rule of law?
With the government inviting foreign investors and tourism to boost Slovakia's lagging standard of living with unemployment at 19.2%, any help from investors will certainly be welcome. But if the police and the government continue to deny responsibility for the safety of non-white tourists or investors who visit Slovakia, then they have a moral obligation at least to inform them that their safety in Slovakia cannot be guaranteed. Let's make sure potential Tawainese investors or Japanese tourists are aware of this!
It must be time for the government to seriously get their act together to put this uncivilised group away. Slovakia must be allowed to grow and achieve status equivalent to that of European Union countries. Skinheads have no place in a civilised Slovakia!
Slovak Spectator hypocritical
Perhaps the worst example of hypocrisy I've seen in Slovakia was to be found in last week's Spectator [actually, in Vol. 6 No. 9, Mar. 6-12 - Ed. note]. The nausea I felt while reading City University's Lisa Hundley's effusive praise for her institution's language courses was compounded by its uncritical appearance on the letters' page.
Not only was it corrupt to include such a letter, it was also bad business sense. Think how much you could have made if you'd charged her for the free advert.
Still, it made a nice change to read something that wasn't yet another splenetic attack on the HZDS and Mečiar in particular.
Slovak Spectator not "wishy-washy"
I sent your "Quote of the week" to my friends, both Slovaks and others, with the following preamble:
For those of us who have lived away from Slovakia for a while, we may empathise with this article's sentiments (you may feel like this too!).
For those of you who've never been to Slovakia, just check out The Slovak Spectator's quote of the week, every week, for the truth you don't find in the American wishy-washy news.
Thanks for the good news reporting.
22. May 2000 at 0:00