Athens Olympics bill soars past £6 billion
THE final cost of the Athens Olympics has soared to more than £6 billion, the Greek government revealed today.
Finance minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis said that figure did not include transport projects - including a new tram line, suburban rail network and extension of the Athens metro system to the airport.
The previous Socialist government, which lost to the conservatives in March elections, had estimated the cost of the Olympics and Paralympics at 4.6bn.
"The cost of the Games is expected to reach 8.95bn euros," Mr Alogoskoufis told reporters after meeting Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis. He said that, while not all figures were final, the state paid the lion’s share of the bill, or about 7.2bn euros (5bn).
The figure means the Greek Olympics cost far more than the previous Games in Sydney in 2000, where spending ran 75 million over the budgeted 1.4bn.
Mr Alogoskoufis said Olympic infrastructure projects cost 2.8bn euros (1.9bn), Olympic sports venues and equipment another 2.1bn euros (1.4bn), security stood at 1bn euros (690m) while athletes’ hospitality and environmental projects set organisers back another 1.1bn euros (760m).
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