EXPO 2017 – billions for a side show

Judging by the recent press, government representatives are so eager for the year 2027 to come and for EXPO to start. However, they seem to be omitting one important thing – Belgrade will not host the real big EXPO, i.e. the central event, but rather a specialized EXPO exhibition.

But who cares about those little details when the plans are so grandiose? According to Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić and Prime Minister Ana Brnabić, these big plans will cost a total of 12 billion euros to implement and everything should have been completed by late 2026.

The Prime Minister also said that the goal is that during the EXPO in Belgrade, all vehicles used for the event will be electric and driverless, and for Finance Minister Siniša Mali, EXPO 2027 is the most important and biggest event for Serbia in the past few decades.

The Zajedno political party, on the other hand, keeps reiterating that EXPO in Belgrade, is not a world exhibition, but, as they say, a sideshow of the same franchise, which was cancelled this year.


The Zajedno party adds that the authorities are deliberately avoiding saying that the Belgrade event is not the World Exhibition EXPO in order to mislead citizens.

“Belgrade got to host a secondary, specialized EXPO. The previous specialized EXPO, which was supposed to be held in Argentina, was cancelled due to the coronavirus epidemic, excessive costs and the event organizers ascertaining that the event would not really benefit the local community”, the Zajedno party adds.

The famous world exhibition EXPO, which history dates back to the mid-19th century, is held every five years and in 2025, will be held in the city of Osaka, Japan, which will cost a total of 840 million dollars.

“We want to create a miracle,” said Minister Mali. According to him, the construction of the EXPO centre will be financed partly by state funds and partly by loans.

On 127 hectares of land, a new national stadium, a new Belgrade Fair, 1,500 apartments and space for EXPO pavilions will be built.

Twelve billion euros

Commenting on the cost of Belgrade EXPO (12 billion euros), the Vice-President of the Serbian Centre Party, Slobodan Cvejić, says that great economic inequalities, biased regional development policy and concentration of wealth among very few people, is a development model endorsed by the Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić and Prime Minister Ana Brnabić.

Foreign investment consultant Milan Kovačević says that the actual goal of this event is Vučić’s desire to fascinate naive citizens.

“Vučić is trying to fascinate naive citizens by citing huge numbers and it is such a large investment that it can only be secured by further heavy borrowing. Our state debt is already dangerously high,” Kovačević told Beta.

“In our country, the government tries to present reality as more beautiful than it is, especially the future. Less is said about what happened in the past because in the past there were both successes and failures. So this seems like an attempt to get people to feel upbeat which might be useful for upcoming elections”, Kovačević believes.

(Vreme, 11.10.2023)


This post is also available in: Italiano

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