I am an Austrian, who comes regularly to Slovakia, since I have a girlfriend there. Since I have known this country and its people for two years (I also worked in Slovakia for one year), I have a pretty good overview of this country and many contacts. I am also a regular reader of your newspaper, and I have to say that it is one of the few papers which really reports objectively and points out the real problems.
I am writing to you because my car, a new VW Golf TDI, was stolen from a parking spot in Bratislava's District 2 (an area which is normally a safe one). I work for one of the biggest personnel agencies in Austria, and the car in question was a company vehicle. Even though I had fitted the car with a number of safety devices, the thieves were able to drive it away within a minute.
I have also just finished reading an article in an Austrian newspaper reporting the theft of the fourth car stolen within a couple of months from the Austrian Embassy in Slovakia. The most recent incident involved a car stolen from a supervised parking lot at an international hotel in Bratislava.
How does Slovakia ever expect to become a member of the European Community? I strongly suggest that more supervised parking lots be built in Bratislava, with security guards who under no circumstances can be bribed. This step would be in the interest of the wider public, not just the foreigners who visit Slovakia.
9. Aug 1999 at 0:00