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Letter to the Editor: Criticism of Kubiš unwarranted

Dear Sir,

I am an assiduous reader of The Slovak Spectator, and I am glad to be able to read news of your country on the Internet.

I am French and I live in Paris, France. I was working, as consultant, with Slovak Telecom and then with Globtel. I travelled quite a lot all over your country, where I spent many holidays (Tatry, Slovenský raj). I still have many friends in Slovakia; one of them is Ladislav Kubiš [the programme director of Radio Slovakia International], who has been the aim of many criticisms in your paper. If I can give my opinion, I met him first in 1994, and while I find very healthy that people can express their fears, I am sure these fears are not justified. M. Kubiš is a very independent person who knows and loves his country well.

He always tried to show the best of Slovakia, through tourism, associations, meetings, languages and so on, but he never tried to change history (as I have seen in some videos on the internal TV channel in Danube Hotel) or disguise or hide reality (political, economic, ethnic, social). He always wanted to help foreigners to know and to appreciate Slovakia, and then let them judge for themselves as adults.

If this is easy in private, it is much more difficult to show this balance in public when you are a journalist, and The Slovak Spectator knows the difficulty of this exercise.

I must say that my way of reading your paper is different depending on whether I am in or out Slovakia (I haven't been there for one year now). Even if I don't speak Slovak, when I am in the country, I see and understand a lot of things (through television, papers, contacts with people, life in the streets, demonstrations) and your paper helps me to understand and to achieve a balance with some of this information. From the outside, sometimes I wonder if your paper is not a little bit too much derogatory, even if I know that sometimes the truth is unbelievable!

Anyway, keep it up, and long life to The Slovak Spectator.

Jean-Michel Govignon, Paris, France

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