Serbia recently unveiled plans to develop the Belgrade waterfront, with the goal of transforming part of the capital into a buzzing tourism and business center. These plans were developed as part of a highly a controversial 3 billion euro scheme that will be primarily funded by Gulf Arab cash. Although the Belgrade Waterfront project promises shopping malls with high-end stores, luxury hotels, fine-dining restaurants and luxury apartments, it is not welcomed by the majority of the Serbian population, many of whom cannot afford the proposed amenities. To realize the project, the government needs to invest millions of dollars on infrastructure to support it.
The government officials argue the from the utilitarian perspective that the economic boost and revenues along with the rise in tourism will allow Serbia to address other needs that the locals find more pressing. The majority of the locals however, take a very different view to this, one along the lines of their principles.
Floods has recently devastated a significant part of the country that still needs rebuilding, unemployment is at 30%, standard of living has dropped as the average citizen now only earns a low 475 euros a month, the infrastructure used daily by the citizen is deteriorating rapidly, yet they see the government approving a deal to spend millions to develop a small part of the country that most of them will not be able to afford. There's a sense of ultimately feeling-second class in their own country as they envision majority of the citizens will only be able to get low-wage jobs serving wealthy foreigners and not have the means to enjoy the amenities being proposed.
The UAE investment firm sees the project as a potentially lucrative venture, where waterfront land with supporting infrastructure has been offered for free, within a capital city...