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Italian writer: People in Belarus respect place where they live

Elvira Apone, writer and journalist, has given an interview to the TV program Simple Questions with Yegor Khrustalev.

I saw you in Minsk more than 20 years ago. I must say that it was the middle of the 90's, now we call these years "reckless 90's". We were, in general, quite poor, there were a lot of bandits, not everything could be found in stores. I saw you, frozen, small Italian girl, wrapped in a scarf, in a coat. I thought "Lord, how did she end up here?" And here you are in Minsk, after such a long time. What struck you first of all? With your fresh look?

Elvira Apone, writer, journalist:
First, the city. The city has changed very much. It did not become bigger or higher but you built new buildings. There are many more shops, supermarkets, commercial centers. I remember there were very few stores where you could buy food. Therefore, everything was difficult. Everything is clear. It was clean earlier too but here I see great order, it's very clean, decent, everything is clear. I really enjoyed it.

I had such a feeling that people living here very much respect the place where they live.

I feel it more here than in Italy. Europe says there is not enough freedom here in Belarus. 

But I see that people are free. And, most of all, I see they live very quietly.

This is very important, because we in Italy don't have such calmness. People are more afraid, but here they are not even afraid. Freedom, of course, has different meanings for people.

Freedom for me is when I can walk on the street even late at night, anywhere, and not be afraid of anything.

Therefore I can live peacefully. And here in Belarus this is the case.

Italian writer: People in Belarus respect place where they live