BELGRADE, Yugoslavia, April 18 -- McDonald's has reopened three of its seven outlets in the Yugoslav capital Belgrade three weeks after they were closed and ransacked by anti-U.S. demonstrators as NATO began its bombardment of the country. Many Belgraders strolling through the city center this weekend amid a lull in the air raid sirens marveled at the sight of the Golden Arches functioning again, but children were overjoyed at the chance to sample their favorite fast food for the first time since March 26.
Anti-Western feelings are still running high, and a number of people passing the main McDonald's outlet in downtown Belgrade were clearly incredulous that it was open, walking in just to see for themselves rather than order a burger. A sign posted by the cash till said part of the profits would go to the Serbian Red Cross, to help victims of NATO airstrikes. While McDonald's struggles to recapture business amid the rubble and shuttered windows, there is another subtle difference from the pre-war days -- a guard with a metal detector at the entrance and a policeman stationed close by in case of a new outburst of anti-American feelings. ---
Copyright 1999 by United Press International. All rights reserved. ---