Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic told a shopping mall opening ceremony in the Belgrade Waterfront that the project is being criticized by people who fear changes and politicians who have not ideas.
The opening of the Belgrade Waterfront Galeria mall, reported to be the biggest in the region, was attended by Vucic, Prime Minister Ana Brnabic and Finance Minister Sinisa Mali as well as Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi-based Eagle Hills company which is the investor in the Belgrade Waterfront project. The mall has a total of 300,000 square meters of space and has been under construction since 2017.
Vucic said that criticism comes every time that something new is being built and cited the examples of major roads and highways that critics said would not be built, adding that he would continue dreaming big ideas. Asked if the authorities went out of their way for the sake of the interests of the investor, Vucic said that Serbia also had an interest in the project. “This was not just about his interest. It was in our interest to turn the swampland into something beautiful. We created something out of nothing and hired people. The private owner does have an interest but that is the essence of capitalism,” he told reporters after the ceremony.
The Belgrade Waterfront project has been criticized heavily by the opposition, infrastructure experts and NGOs all claiming that it will create infrastructure problems for the whole city.