Letters to the editor

Ten years of Kosovo – and what this has to do with Switzerland

It sounds rather romanticised, as though the relationship between Swiss and Kosovans is some kind of shining example. The fact remains that the crime figures tell a different story and the behaviour of some young Kosovans on the road or when going out shows little respect for their host country. There is still much work to be done in terms of integration.

Markus Flury, Hua Hin, Thailand

This was an article you can identify with as a Swiss Abroad. However, “freeing the nation from the stranglehold of the greedy elite” is (practically) a global issue, albeit one that is particularly evident in the small country of Kosovo.

Flow Bohl, London, UK

I went on a cycling trip through Kosovo four years ago. I knew practically nothing about the country beforehand but was pleasantly surprised. It is a very beautiful country with an optimistic outlook despite all of its problems, lack of infrastructure, unemployment and corruption. I certainly got the impression that it is a country on the up and that the next ten years will definitely be better than the previous decade. Pristina is also a fantastic city. I also noticed the return of expats over the summer. I’ve never seen as many Swiss number plates abroad as in Kosovo!

Pius Ott, Melbourne, Australia

Without going over the top, besides the much-celebrated goals, years of negative headlines have left a bitter taste. I think Switzerland would have fared better without the cultural influx.

Martin Anliker, Ecuador

It is a shame that Serbia is being made to look like an evil oppressor. The fact that Kosovo has been the cultural and religious centre of Serbia and of its Orthodox church for over 1,000 years should not be forgotten. The Albanians in Kosovo are there as a result of the mass immigration organised by the Ottoman Empire at a time when the Turks found it difficult to contain the Orthodox Serb population. That is why they sent in their Albanian neighbours who had recently been converted to the Ottoman cause and Islam. Kosovo is a political football for the USA and Europe and its history and conflict are purely political. Anyway, happy birthday Kosovo.

Syed Siraje, Online comment

Switzerland’s financial support during the reconstruction phase has produced tremendous benefits for the people in the Balkans, particularly in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia and Kosovo, not least with the rebuilding of hospitals and in the area of apprenticeships. Personally, I think it would be beneficial if these countries introduced legislation like in Switzerland in areas such as nature conservation, animal welfare, the protection of life and limb, victim support, child protection (particularly for children born out of wedlock), insurance and vested rights. Switzerland could serve as a model in these areas. Unfortunately, in my experience as a Swiss Abroad, much of what I have mentioned does not exist here and the desire and moral will to introduce such laws are also lacking. Waste disposal is one of the greatest issues in my view. There are no waste disposal plants and the areas around the cities are becoming increasingly contaminated. The situation is completely out of control. I urge representatives of the Swiss Abroad – whether in Kosovo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro or Serbia – to work towards ensuring that suitable waste disposal plants are built with Swiss help. This would help to make sure that a beautiful natural environment is passed on to the younger generation.

Goran Vasovic, Prijepolje, Serbia

Cyclists in Switzerland are moving into the fast lane

Bicycles are a great alternative way to get around Switzerland. Of course you have to have the infrastructure of dedicated bike lanes in large cities like Zurich, which involves politics and funding issues. It’s nice that rental bikes are readily available but I’m guessing it’s mostly tourists that use these or do residents rent them as well? Denmark is a great biking country to emulate. I biked around in Denmark for two years and it was wonderful.

Mike Rigert, Lehi, Utah, USA

As well as cycling, one car-free Sunday per month could also be introduced as in the past. This would improve air quality and allow families to enjoy the great outdoors in peace and quiet.

Madeline Murphy, online comment

Comments (2)
  • Sophie Flatz Murray
    Sophie Flatz Murray at 26.08.2018
    What a thrill to meet another Swiss lady, SWISS REVIEW in hand, at our 2000 population retirement community. Iceing on the cake, she's from St Gallen, too!
    Show Translation
  • Matt Tobler, United States, Fort Collins, Colorado
    Matt Tobler, United States, Fort Collins, Colorado at 16.09.2019
    Greetings Swiss Review,

    In recent months I have seen much dialogue in Swiss Review regarding the right to vote for Swiss abroad. I was born and raised in the United States. My father and I are very proud of our Swiss heritage. For my entire youth extending into adulthood I did not exercise voting rights for the same reason many respondents do not -- I did not think it was right for me to decide how people in Switzerland should live. However, the Council address on August 1, in two separate years, called upon the Swiss abroad to vote so that Switzerland could benefit from our knowledge and experience. Indeed, there have been numerous referendum in recent years that I had experience with and I did cast a vote. I also frequently abstain from voting on issues where I do not have anything to contribute. Switzerland, unlike any other nation, is in the unique position to benefit form the wisdom of its people throughout the world. I cherish the privilege to participate a form of democracy that is more direct than what we have here in the United States. Thank you!
    Show Translation

Write new comment

Comments are approved within one to three days. The editorial team reserves the right not to publish discriminatory, racist, defamatory or inflammatory comments. Our detailed comment rules are available here.

Whenever a new suspension bridge or summit viewing platform is planned in the Alps, objections are soon raised about commercialising the mountains and...

Read more

Switzerland is at the very forefront of international research on outer space. It is now demonstrating its penchant for tidiness by becoming a debris...

Read more

Yellow gloss tarnished

PostBus was an exemplary company. Then a subsidy scandal erupted which was unprecedented in Switzerland. The matter has still not been fully resolved....

Read more

The world of football is dominated by money. Yet in Switzerland there is a colourful alternative league which even recognised the right to strike in...

Read more

Auslandschweizer Organisation
Alpenstrasse 26
3006 Bern, Schweiz

tel +41 31 356 61 10
fax +41 31 356 61 01