The closing ceremony of the Athens Olympics, Sunday evening, will be a "bacchanale" (orgy party) where is drinking, singing and dance, said artistic director Dimitris Papaïoannou. The award of the medals in the marathon, the ultimate test of the summer Olympics 2004, will be performed at the ceremony. It will be time for the Greeks to transmit flag Olympic in Beijing, organizer of the games in four years, before the balance sheet of this great sporting event. It looks painful. It's official: the overall cost of the Olympics will exceed the sum of EUR 7 billion, well beyond the initial budget fixed at 4.6 billion, announced last Wednesday the Secretary of State for economy, Petros Doukos ("Les Echos" from August 25). Public debt reached 195,7 billion euros in the second quarter of 2004, 178.2 billion in the same quarter of last year, a increase of 9.8 mainly due to the debt of the public administration to finance the cost of the organization.
Concerning the fate of the two weeks of sporting infrastructures built on this occasion, it is in full expectation. Secretary of State for economy, Christos Folias, said, laconic: "we study, we discuss and we will soon have proposals and strategy in this area." But the Government made no secret that he wants to rent, or sell some infrastructure to individuals. Too expensive to maintain for the State.
Everything is negative. "The Olympics were a springboard for the Greek economy and an opportunity to promote our country abroad," said the Minister of economy and finance, Georges Alogoskoufis. According to the data made public by the Greek Centre for investment (ELKE), foreign companies have expressed interest to "enter into agreements" during this period in Greece come from the United States (135), Bulgaria (134), Germany (111), Britain (105), Australia (59), and Italy (56). On the side of French, not much, apart from the meeting between the President and CEO of EDF, François Roussely, and the Minister of development, Georges Sioufas, to discuss possible investment in the electricity market Greek. Note also that in Athens the Chinese have signed a partnership to 2008 with the Look company (based in Nevers) to fill their sports of the bike used by the Blues.
The Greece is also take advantage of the period following the games to revive its tourism, one of the main national resources. Last may, the Secretary of State for tourism, Anastassios Liaskos, had estimated that the number of foreign visitors would come to 11.8 million tourists. The responsible Minister, Dimitris Avramopoulos, said Monday: "We expect a particularly rich September months", adding that "the Greece will be judged on its ability to exploit the situation after the games."
In any event, the Greece managed the bet. The US President George w. Bush acknowledged in an interview with the local press: "there are three or four months in my country, in the United States, we talked about all of the Olympic Games in Greece, and many were those who thought that the work would be ever ready, and never the Greeks did there come." And when we saw the opening ceremony, we realized how much she was extraordinary. "He also complimented the security authorities"perfect, I have to admit. "
The Greeks have no homework on means, spending EUR 1.2 billion in this area. The French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Michel Barnier, held to congratulate the Committee (Athoc) for their "success". A false note however with the loss of speed of the French language yet official language of the Olympic Games for the benefit of the English, strongly denounced by Hervé Bourges, great witness of la francophonie.
Regarding attendance, organizers announce sold 3.4 million tickets out of a total of 5.3 million, from the account, and it was on television, where the stages appear much empty, especially the first week. But Athoc assured having reached its goal in terms of revenue.
A turning point for doping
Side TV, Eurosport speaks of "success", the Pan-European chain having attracted more than 101.5 million viewers since the beginning of the Olympic Games. France 2 and France 3 brought together an average 2.2 million viewers, with a peak of hearing to 7.7 million (47 of audience share) Sunday last for the victory of the France in the male tournament in épée team.
Remains that these OJ mark a watershed in the fight against doping. 19 athletes were excluded or withdrew with OJ on doping or violation of the anti-doping regulations since July 30. Among the cases of doping, ten are weightlifting which might disappear from the games if the International Federation "does not the household" in his breast. Two Olympic victors, a Russian weight throwing gold medal and a winner Hungarian of the disk have been decommissioned. Without forgetting the "case" of the two Greek sprinters Costas Kenteris and Ekaterini Thanou, who preferred to abandon the games rather than to explain their absences in doping controls. The international Olympic Committee has not abated in this case, despite the pressures he suffered. Much remains to be done, including with the federations for "cheating" disappears once the Olympic Games.