NEWS

Uneasy sleep for Athens 2004 supremo

In a torrent of words, Athens 2004 President Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki passionately supports the Olympics, the occasion of which she believes provides an opportunity to change and improve Greece, while stating that preparations are already having a beneficial effect and changing customs in this country. In an interview with Kathimerini, she denies the existence of management deficits in the company she heads, and promises to give a full account at the end of the Games. She also refutes the view that the organization of the Games may lead to economic woes in the future, claiming that, on the contrary, it supports development as it allows the direct or indirect involvement of 6,500 businesses. She believes that holding the Olympics and the need to execute projects within a specific time frame has been educational for Greek society, since about 150,000 people are obliged to work at a different pace in order to produce results. She avoids specific mention of the overall cost, but doesn’t hesitate to inveigh against business entanglements that lead to delays for the sake of personal benefit. She wonders how the cost of security has risen from 212 million euros to 500 million euros, and seems to be worried about the delays in completing the stadiums, which means that the test events cannot be held in time or coordinated properly. She views as a great challenge the task or ensuring full coordination of everything while the Games are on, but admits that she doesn’t sleep well at night. She does not comment on her future political ambitions, saying that she has not thought about what will happen after the Games.