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Cranes Move into Macau Way of Life

8 April 2005

MACAU – As reported by the Agence France Presse: "…The rise of the casinos in the southern Chinese territory has been dubbed a miracle: GDP growth for 2004 is expected to pan out at a massive 26.5 percent and for 2005, between 15 and 20 percent.

"But with every silver lining comes a cloud, and the crushing of the gardens -- and many other beauty spots around the ancient city -- under the wheels of rampant economic development has become the focus of a growing discontent among many locals with the mushrooming gaming industry.

"While roulette and card tables are providing public finances and jobs for a tiny city of 450,000 people that 40 years ago relied on textiles and fishing, they are also bringing a host of undesirable social costs that have lowered the quality of life in this once sleepy enclave.

"…The race is on to provide not only homes for the growing workforce that is being drafted in from China, the Philippines and Hong Kong to staff the casinos but also to construct hotels, holiday homes and second homes for the increasingly affluent Chinese tourists who have swollen attendances in the century-old casino industry…"

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