Thursday, January 3, 2008

Mother Theresa - What's the Deal?

I came across a fun article titled 50 Cent, emergency generators and contraband tobacco, a blog-type article from Cafe Babel.  Not all the information is correct in their articles (Mother Theresa has been under construction for 4 months, not years) but for the most part I think they have captured the spirit of Pristina pretty well!  I'm interested to see what else comes out of Cafe Babel :)
Thinking of  the recent renovation of Mother Theresa where the government decided to close off one of the main downtown arterials and make it a pedestrian walkway forever condemning the city's citizens to be stuck in bumper to bumper traffic when attempting to do business in the downtown area...I along with many of the local population have to ask "what's the deal?"  In speaking with local friends, many are beyond disgusted with the local government's payout of more than a million and half euros to export granite from China and create the walkway.

Then there is radioactive granite debate which still rages.  The story is that the granite that was imported (and you have to ask why they chose to import rather than use the plentiful granite/marble supplies in the Balkans and further stimulate their own economy!) from China has radioactive levels that are above the norm and above what is considered safe for the people living in the streets surrounding the walkway.
So first the government screws up traffic, then they import granite when it's available locally and pay a lot of money for it, and finally the imported granite turns up to be radioactive???  Seems like it just wasn't meant to be...especially since there are rumors that all the renovations will be torn up due to the radioactive nature of the granite.