Letter to the Editor: Slovaks need outside guidance

I wish to react briefly to the "Let the voters decide" Letter to the Editor by Jo Melis published on April 22, 2002.

Vladimír Mečiar's victory in the next election is not good for the future of Slovakia. He has discredited himself by his past actions and should not seek a second coming. I claim this to be an objective fact rather than an opinion. Argue if you will.

Slovak society is politically immature. A majority of people cannot distinguish between long-term and short-term goals, do not understand the basics of political economy, lack individual critical thought and have a simplified black-and-white vision of politics in general. In opposition to this group, of course, stand educated, perfectly democratic and cosmopolitan individuals; they, however, are absolutely impotent in terms of pushing their will through with the former.

From the above it follows that Slovak voters cannot be trusted to choose correctly. This is absolutely contrary to my fundamental liberal and democratic feelings; however, Slovakia needs outside guidance from a respectable authority that it lacks at home. There simply is no qualified majority to sort out basic political matters within the state.

A lot is at stake in September.

Although the Dzurinda government has failed in many aspects, I generally approve of its achievements. It has corrected some damage left by the previous regimes, it has implemented many vital political and economic reforms, it set the course towards the country's European integration, and it improved Slovakia's international credit. Electing Vladimír Mečiar in September would mean wasting most of these efforts.

Slovakia politically and geographically lies in a region of rather strong outside interests. Slovaks should learn to ride these waves rather than oppose them. In 2002, globalisation is a fact and the European Union is a fact, regardless of the shape these phenomena eventually acquire. Furthermore, security lately has been at risk world wide. These arguments cannot be ignored. For political, economic and security reasons, Slovakia must play by the rules of Nato and the European Union (EU), to name the basic two.

Slovakia's chance of success lies in finding a respectable leader for domestic politics and in effective foreign diplomacy.

And by the way, voters will decide in September anyway.

Tomáš Novotný
Prague

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