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Press Digest

Visa hurts only citizens

The Mečiar government again has shown that it does not think about the interests of our citizens. In the acceptance of its strong and incompetent decision [to impose a visa requirement on British citizens on October 15, in response to the British government's decision to require visas of Slovaks on October 8], the opinion and recommendation of Igor Slobodník, the Slovak Ambassador in London, played a significant role. Despite the fact that the basic function of every ambassador is to be versatile in widening and deepening bilateral relations between Slovakia and the countries in which he is serving, the son of Dušan Slobodník, the former Chairman of the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee, recommended a reciprocal visa regime, which will hardly deepen our cooperation with Great Britain.

Thus the decision of the Mečiar government may be evaluated as another step in the deepening isolation of Slovakia on the international scene. The departing government, which could have handed the problem over to the new government to deal with, instead left it another negative inheritance.
Július Gembický, SME, October 17

Bluffing about heavenly treasures

The German Daily newspaper Frankfurter Zeitung states that it would be an ironic twist of fate if Slovakia now did not advance into the first group of candidate countries fro accession to the EU.

After the departure of the man who was the reason for the tension [the newspaper argued], the latest economic indicators show that the development of the financial sector may be the reason for a further delay in Slovakia's acceptance into European structures.

This is a very "vague" statement, just like the one made by KDH Chairman Ján Čarnogurský at the party's press conference on August 8, 1996, when he said the KDH was already capable within 24 hours of lobbying abroad and guaranteeing the renewal of armaments manufacturing at [northern Slovak weapons producer] ZŤS Dubnica.

Our economic situation is changing very quickly and rapidly. Now it will be shown whether this declaration of capacity for lobbying to the advantage of our armaments maufacturers is more than just mimicry, when weak animals pretend that they are strong. The KDH is not strong even today, because the candles of the individual parties in the SDK cannot be united into a single flame.

On the same talk show, Ján Čarnogurský opined in front of viewers that he has many treasures in heaven. Is bluffing about lobbying for our armaments producers among them?
Peter Jánošík, Slovenská Republika, October 17

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