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Reader feedback: A very warm welcome to Slovakia

Re: Slovaks welcome EU, By Lukáš Fila, May 19-25, Vol 9, No 19

I was more excited by the referendum in Slovakia than by the national elections in my own country (where voting is mandatory). I have a very personal reason for this involvement since my girlfriend is Slovak and we expect Slovakia's entry in the EU to make our life a lot easier.

But I also have some concerns about Slovakia's future in the EU. What strikes me the most whenever I come to this beautiful country is the enormous wealth in animal and plant life. That, contrasted with the economical problems in Slovakia, makes me quite worried. I hope Slovaks will realise that the unique landscapes they have in their country are equally, or maybe even more, important than the economic prosperity they hope to achieve by joining the EU.

Where I come from, most people have little financial concerns, but everywhere you look is concrete. We all have good jobs but only a select few can afford to live in a green environment, with clean air and room for our children to play.

We live in crowded cities that are polluted and dangerous, and a lot of us spend several hours in the car trying to get to work. Personally, I would rather drive a Trabant through the beautiful Slovak landscape than be stuck in a BMW for hours on a congested highway.

What I am saying is that while you are working to improve your situation, don't forget about the good things you already have. Slovakia is unique because of its warm-hearted people and its fabulous nature. So I hope Slovakia will always stay Slovakia, and never become a second Belgium, France, Germany, or US.

Jeroen Philippe, Belgium

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