Return on investment in EXPO 2027 will take 27 years at least

Serbia will be repaying loans taken for the EXPO 2027 specialized world exhibition in Belgrade in the next 30 years, the Radio Free Europe website reports.

The preliminary feasibility study has shown that EXPO is a “non-profit event” and will take at least 27.4 years to have a return on investment.

Meanwhile, no one is asking the taxpayers, who will probably have to cover all the costs related to the EXPO, how much is it is really going to cost us, with estimates going up to EUR 6 billion.

Since the middle of October, to be precise, in about a hundred days, Serbia has already borrowed four times through the sale of bonds for the EXPO. Works are not yet underway and the government has already borrowed more than one billion euros!

And all this for a period of eight years, with interest reaching 7 percent! The enormous debt we are talking about is best described by comparing the amount with this year’s planned budgetary allocations for the EXPO. According to the Budget law for 2024, RSD 22.6 billion have been allocated for EXPO investments, i.e. for buildings and construction facilities, through the Ministry of Finance. This is approximately EUR 188 million, which is the sixth of what was planned and implemented through borrowing for the previous hundred days.

The government went into the first debt for EXPO in October last year, when it issued bonds worth RSD 19.19 billion. It was a debt with an interest rate of 6.39 percent and a maturity date in 2031.

The second debt was incurred two months later, RSD 90 billion, also with a repayment period of eight years and an interest rate of 6.3 percent. The third followed in January and the fourth in February of this year.

In total, so far, there is a debt of RSD 150 billion, which is the total amount according to the Government‘s decision on the issue of long-term government bonds, which, as stated, will provide funds to support infrastructure projects within the framework of the EXPO 2027 exhibition. In response to the question addressed to the National Bank of Serbia: “How much more debt will we incur for EXPO?”, the Central Bank did not provide an answer, just like the Finance Ministry. In the meantime, at the end of January, the Government decided to increase the value of the eight-year EXPO bonds to a total of RSD 150 billion, i.e. 40 billion more than the original issue. Hence, a total of EUR 1.2 billion for this year and two months of the previous year.

(, NIN, 21.05.2024)

This post is also available in: Italiano

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