I served as a US Peace Corps volunteer for three years in Kráľovský Chlmec, which is a town of 8,000 right on the Hungary-Ukraine border (can't get too much more east than that in Slovakia). The emigration issue the article ["Easterners forced to leave for the west" by Chris Togneri Vol. 7 No. 43 November 12 - 18] speaks of is very real in eastern Slovakia.
I taught and worked with lots of young talent at a school in that community and found so many of their skills and goals frustrated by everything from regional economics to racism.
The east is often referred to in Bratislava as the "poor stepchild" of Slovakia. This reference unfortunately pans out well beyond mere words to deeds out of Bratislava in the form of misdirected policy, corruption and a lack of regard for issues unique to the east.
I too feel, however, that it is worth mentioning that the emigration from rural areas to urban is far from unique to Slovakia. Rural communities across the United States face enormous "brain drain" as young professionals seek opportunities in larger metropolitan areas. Rural America is greying no doubt.
19. Nov 2001 at 0:00