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Thousands Protest In Serbia Against Demolitions For UAE-investment Project


Thousands of protesters in Belgrade demanded that Mayor Sinisa Mali resign in the latest in a series of demonstrations against demolitions in a popular area marked for a real estate project financed by the United Arab Emirates.

Thousands of protesters in Belgrade demanded that Mayor Sinisa Mali resign in the latest in a series of demonstrations against demolitions in a popular area marked for a real estate project financed by the United Arab Emirates.

Thousands rallied in the Serbian capital on June 11 in the latest in a series of protests against demolitions in a popular Belgrade area marked for a real estate project financed by the United Arab Emirates.

Protesters demanded that Belgrade Mayor Sinisa Mali resign and those behind the nighttime destruction of a block of houses in April be punished.

That demolition took place on April 24 in the arts and nightlife district of Savamala, where several buildings were demolished in the night by mysterious masked men.

Some protesters wore balaclavas to mock the demolitions, while banners read "Masks have fallen, when will the government?" or "Belgrade is our city."

Prime Minister-designate Aleksandar Vucic's ruling Serbian Progressive Party dismissed the gathering as a "circus" organized by opposition parties.

The Belgrade mayor -- a close ally of Vucic -- has played a key role in in the $3-billion deal with UAE investors to build a Dubai-style business and residential complex in the run-down urban area by the Sava River.

Critics say the project in unsuitable for Belgrade and they also allege corruption.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP
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