Authorities in Azerbaijan assert that playing host to the European Games marks the emergence of a self-assured nation capable of staging a major international sporting event. But some residents of the host city, the Azerbaijani capital Baku, are reserving judgment. To them, the accuracy of such statements will be determined by developments after the closing ceremonies on June 28.
“These games, these buildings, they are all up to European standards,” said a representative of a Baku-based humanitarian organization. “Those standards must begin to enter other aspects of life and that will be the next step.”
The activist, like most other individuals who discussed their views with EurasiaNet.org, spoke on condition of anonymity, citing fear of possible retaliation by their respective employers or government officials.
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