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Reader feedback: Curing the country of cancer

Re: Significant improve-ments achieved, By Beata Balogová, October 24 - October 30, 2005

Having lived as a foreigner in Slovakia off and on from 1989 through 2000, in particular living and working during the Mečiar regime, I ask that Slovaks refresh their memories a little. If it was "better" during the rule of HZDS, and that is easily debatable, that "better" is part illusion, part manipulation, and a large part wishful fantasizing.

Mečiar did nothing more than mimic what his Soviet handlers had taught him to do in politics. It ought to be remembered that Slovakia was a black sheep state in Central Europe during the first half-dozen years after freedom was achieved, in large measure because Mečiar and his cronies were nothing more than totalitarian wannabes, bleeding the state dry for their own (ample) personal reward, while at the same time blissfully manipulating their dismal economic and political record in the minds of those ignorant enough to fall for it.

There is not a single intelligent piece of journalism written about Slovakia during this period that did not offer a black eye to Slovak politics and its fake economy.

Slovakia was headed backwards at full speed before Dzurinda, so even if the pace forward may seem hesitant, lurching and stumbling, it is in all ways better than going backwards at full speed.

Dzurinda isn't perfect. He has made some mistakes, and he is, after all, a politician, which always carries a certain level of corruptibility. It goes with the territory and most people simply expect it. We have George Bush in our lives - enough said.

But the "pain" caused by Dzurinda's struggle to grow a stagnant economy out of the ashes of Mečiarism is of the category: "It's going to hurt a little now, but the patient finally has a chance to survive and have a good life."

Sometimes it takes some rather nasty radiation to cure oneself of a cancer. Mečiar and HZDS were a cancer in the body of Slovakia. I think the patient will recover from these treatments and go on to a fine life.

Don Merritt,
Berlin, Germany

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