Monday, September 22, 2008

Speaking of closer ties with the EU and all that, I was pretty shocked when I read this in the Kyiv Post today (Visa Restrictions Thwart Trips Abroad, by Yuliya Popova):

[...] So far Spain is ahead of everyone else in the poll to get the Golden Muzzle award for causing the most resentment to its applicants. Apart from the usual hassle with paperwork, the Spanish consulate requires its visa seekers to report back to the consulate upon their return to Ukraine. Tetyana Kaminska, editor of the interior design magazine Ideas for Your Home, said she was shocked to learn of this “absurd” practice.

Kaminska said that she wasted two days to give the consulate a photocopy of her passport page with a customs’ stamp proving that she was back from Spain.

“When I came on the first day, a guard told me to come at 8am the next day… When I arrived the following morning, there was a queue of 50 people all standing on the other side of the road because apparently a pavement in front of the consulate is a taboo zone,” she described the beginning of her ordeal. By five o’clock in the evening she said that she was finally invited to come in. “At the door, however, they told me that I can’t proceed further with my female purse. So I was forced to leave it across the road in a luggage room for Hr 5.”

When Kaminskaya reached a clerk’s window after eight hours of waiting, a visa section official asked her if she liked Spain. “No, I didn’t,” she said thinking of the chaos with visas in Ukraine.


  1. The whole world is becoming a parking lot... I am happy Kyivites are reacting as well against it. Do governements in some way endorse these actions (I mean of the World network mentioned in the post)?

    Here some idealist/green activists are suggesting every year a few Sundays without cars, most people are laughing at them, it never passed in Parliament.

    In the 70ies oil crisis, we did have such days in Switzerland, I remember walking in the middle of the road with my parents. :)

    I must say efforts are made in my town lately : two important historic and commercial streets have become pedestrian. But it does not basically change people's habits, who are kind of lobotomized as soon as they drive a car : forgetting they have two feet, forgetting it takes just a little patience and organisation to take public transportation (which here thanks God is reliable).

    We do have the Slow Up, a 15 (or less)km drive/walk/skate, whatever without oil consumption.
    Quite a nice family excursion you can take wherever and leave wherever. It is organised by cantons ans insurance companies...

    But the funny thing is seeing hundreds of people coming by car to the starting place, discharging their bikes etc... Well indescriptible mess as you can guess.

    This year in June, I must say I lacked the courage to go : it poured with rain all the day...


  2. That’s not an accident, considering how Ukraine tolerates the EU’s breach of visa agreements and lets Ukrainians' image suffer from vocal EUkrophobia.

    Here's an article in Le Monde written by a person who knows nothing about Ukraine outside his maladaptive grasp of mothballed Soviet historiography.

    Among other things, the author accuses Ukrainians of playing a key role in the Holocaust and portrays Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars as Nazi collaborators.

    Why not support this claim with the Righteous Among the Nations list?

  3. Here in Lima, Peru, the Spanish consulate is very well known for mistreating visa seekers. So this behavior described here isn't really news to me.
    Historically and culturally, for Latin Americans, Spain is the logic entrance to Europe. I thought this disdainful attitude was reserved only for citizens from this part of the world. It seems as if we are not alone! I congratulate Tetyana for her response.
    All the best from Peru.