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Shepherd, Robin

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Hospodárske noviny - Slovakia | 13/06/2006

The elections in Slovakia I

According to Eastern Europe expert Robin Shepherd, the Slovaks, who are to elect a new parliament next Saturday, have grown weary of reform. In a commentary piece originally published in the Wall Street Journal Europe and reprinted by the Czech newspaper, Shepherd reminds readers of the international praise Mikulas Dzurinda's government has earned. "Just imagine if your country had seen its unemployment plunge from 20 percent to a record low of 10.6 percent within four years, and American billionaire Steve Forbes was describing your country as a paradise for investors because of its low flat tax. Imagine your country was producing more cars per capita than any other country and – to top it all – it had become a member of both the EU and NATO." Shepherd notes, however, that voters don't appear to have profited from the many reforms: "Millions of Slovaks only see that their average income still lies at approximately 500 dollars."

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