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Sunday, August 8, 2004

Banquo's Ghost

Here is an extract from the website of the Greek embassy in Washington USA. This was posted on the 21st of July 1997:

"...The president of the Athens 2004 Olympic candidacy committee, Gianna Angelopoulou-Daskalaki, told CNN on Friday that the Greek capital holds the prospect of a "virtually new city" as regards public transport, telecommunications, the environment, accommodations and sports installations.

"Most sports installations are already in place, and we have the financial guarantees for completing all additional necessary projects well before 2004," she added.

Replying to a remark that Athens faces difficult traffic problems, Ms Angelopoulou-Daskalaki said that any existing difficulties will be effectively met with large projects already underway, such as the underground metro, which she claimed will be ready in 1999, the city's new airport at Spata (scheduled for completion by 2000) and a number of circular roads. These projects, she said, will drastically change the situation regarding public transport in Athens.

Turning to the economic impact of the Olympics, she said: "we expect 130,000 new jobs to be created. The overall benefit will be huge..."

Regarding security, she said, "Greece is a safe country, as INTERPOL and other independent analyses show. We have one of the lowest crime rates in Europe, and moreover, what is very important is that no incident has taken place during any sports, political, or other event that Greece has organized"......"

I have come across an archived version of the Athens Games website from 1997. This contains details of their bid, and promises made regarding infrastructure etc, for the Games. You can visit it here Athens archive.

I am also trying to track down a copy of the Athens Bid Book, which is in excess of 600 pages, and details every promise made by the Greek bid committee in respect of their bid to host the Games in 2004. If anyone knows where I can lay my hands on a copy I would be very grateful.

There are copies held by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Switzerland, unfortunately they are under embargo; and cannot be viewed by the public for another 30 years.

I wonder why?

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