When Vladimir Putin next summer will take visitors to the world Cup, he will be one of the most attractive in the world of Windows, showing Russia.
Meanwhile, in his hometown of St. Petersburg, the construction of the widely publicized stadium for the world Cup has become a farce, which lasted ten years.
Last summer, the President was forced on the Kremlin website to publish the decree, which addressed responsible for the construction to expedite the work. At that time the construction was accompanied by articles about water seepage, cracks and fragility of the structure, corruption, refusal to work with a major construction firm, the dismissal of political leaders and constant postponement of the completion of the work.
“This is one of the most modern stadiums in the world”, — said recently the Deputy Governor of the city of Ivor Albin correspondent Financifl Times about this building, shaped like a UFO.
According to his latest assumption, the final cost will amount to 6.4 billion kroons. This is seven times more than the estimate adopted at the groundbreaking ceremony in 2007.
In December 2008, according to the plan, the construction of the stadium “Zenit arena” was supposed to be finished.
Now less than a month before the start of rehearsal for the world Cup (the Confederations Cup), but still there is no certainty that the pitch, the stadium can host games.
© RIA Novosti, Vladimir Astapkovich | go to fotomonsterflash of the stadium “Zenit arena” in St. Petersburg
17 may home team of the city was forced to play a home match at their old stadium because the new stadium after two games there were bald spots with uprooted grass. It happened after FIFA in December last year adopted the completion of construction.
At the beginning of last autumn, observers have noted that the landslide that took place under the grass, was too big for the games.
If all goes according to plan, the second largest city in Russia next year must undergo a seven football matches, in particular, the semi-finals.
Allegations of “modern slavery”
May 16, Football Association of Norway (NFF), along with three football federations of the Nordic countries was sent to the International football Federation (FIFA) a letter expressing concerns about the construction of this stadium.
The reason was an article in Josimar, published this year with the accusations that a North Korean migrant workers are working in conditions that are very reminiscent of modern-day slavery.
“We appealed to FIFA with a request to investigate the facts and then report what has been discovered, and what is the attitude of FIFA to it. If this is true, it is very contrary to our European values”, — says the President of the Norwegian Federation Terje Svendsen (Svendsen Terje) to the newspaper Aftenposten.
You knew about this?
When Russia and Qatar in 2010, received its world Championships, this has caused strong indignation. In addition to the charges of bribery before distribution, voiced criticism of the situation with human rights in both countries.
“A new mode in FIFA has stated that human rights and workers’ rights in the future should take place when applying to host the world Cup. Unfortunately, the bids of Russia and Qatar is already impossible to recall,” says Svendsen.
“Migrant workers in Russia work in difficult conditions, the procedures related to obtaining permission to live and work, are many and take a lot of time,” says a political Advisor to the office of Amnesty International in Norway Patricia Coty.
“So many operate without registration and are subject to harsh exploitation and extortion. Without registration and residence permit they have no right to receive medical services, which is also a big problem,” she continues.
The incompetence of government bureaucrats
Albinus took office after Marat Hovhannisyan. The last one in October last year, was arrested for receiving bribes in the amount of 7.3 million kroons from the construction contractor.
Former political leader — not only accused of illicit enrichment.
Authorities suspect that more than 100 million crowns was placed in the pocket.
“Corruption, lack of professionalism of government bureaucrats in the leadership of large buildings and their constant interference in the construction process are, in particular, the reasons why construction was taking so long,” — said the employee of branch of Transparency Internationals in St. Petersburg, Dmitry Sukharev newspaper Aftenposten.
He says that three major changes to the project increased the cost of the work. This also contributed to a sharp drop in the value of the ruble in December 2014.
“In addition, corruption will certainly impact on the final amount,” said Sukharev.
Corruption knows judo techniques
Sukharev says that corruption in large construction projects is a big problem.
“In Russia joke: “to defeat Corruption is difficult because she knows judo techniques”. The problem is that corruption has permeated the entire power structure. It is present in the justice, police and at all political levels,” he says.
He believes that the world Cup will be very important to Putin’s political leverage.
© AP Photo, Pavel GlolovkinЧасы countdown to the start of the world Cup 2018 in Moscow
“The political leadership should, from time to time to show people something that can cause national pride. Were the Sochi Olympics, was the annexation of the Crimea, now will be the world Cup,” says Sukharev, who believes that there is no progress in other areas, such as Economics, science and medicine.
He says that the difference between rich and poor is growing, and that the latest data show that 23 million Russians live below the poverty line.
“These people have to manage,” says Sukharev.
The Russian government recently increased the budget of the world Cup by 2.7 billion kroons.
The total is now 84 billion kroons. This, however, is almost five times less than what was spent on the Olympics in Sochi in 2014.
Big hole in the budget of St. Petersburg impact, meanwhile, on the funding going to the needs of the local population, as Petersburg unlike other cities where will take place world Cup games, he pays for the construction.
Infantino: it will be a fantastic world Cup
The representative of FIFA, said in an interview with Aftenposten that FIFA and the local organising Committee after several checks, rehearsals, events and matches in St. Petersburg in recent months, remained is happy with preparation of the stadium for a rehearsal of the world Cup.
“Together with our Russian colleagues we are working hard to offer the fans a good service and create a friendly atmosphere”, — he said.
In April, the President of FIFA, Gianni Infantino said during a meeting with Putin in Moscow about his confidence that the championship next year will be spectacular.
“Judging by what he saw, I am quite sure that we will organize a fantastic event, which will be the best in the history of football. In 2017 and 2018 views the world will be drawn to Russia, and we want to try to make sure that everything went very well,” he says.
Putin stressed that preparation for the championship is the main priority of the authorities.
The representative of the Russian organizing Committee of the world Cup told the magazine Josimar, that the health and safety of workers at the stadiums the world Cup is very important for FIFA and the Committee.
At the same time, it was reported that last year the project involved 4.2 thousand people. In February of this year, 55% of them were migrant workers.
The representative said that last year carried out a large study of the working conditions. It found no serious shortcomings, but what has been discovered, corrected.