Authorities in and around Ancient Olympia have been scrambling to prepare for the Olympic Flame lighting ceremony, which is to take place Thursday, collecting some 450 tons of garbage from the roads on the route along which the flame is to be carried.
“The Municipality of Ancient Olympia is already spotless and and there is no garbage anywhere,” Deputy Mayor Giorgos Georgakopoulos told Kathimerini.
“Ancient Olympia is gleaming, the atmosphere is festive and we hope this image will be maintained,” he said.
However, local reports indicate that last-minute efforts are being made to clear up trash from the roads in surrounding areas too. A new landfill in the area is to receive trash from two neighboring municipalities, in violation of the regulations limiting its maximum capacity.
Officials indicated that the move is necessary to safeguard public health as well as clean up the route between the town of Pyrgos and the site of Ancient Olympia along which the Olympic Flame is to be carried.
The mayor of Pyrgos, Gavrilis Liatsis, admitted in comments to Kathimerini that parts of the municipality were still littered but he pledged that the remaining mounds of trash would be cleared in time for Thursday’s ceremony, which is expected to be attended by a large number of foreign journalists.