NEWS

Calatrava roofs ‘not safe:’ ND

An elaborate design for the roofs of the already delayed 80,000-seat Athens Olympic Stadium and the cycling track to be used during the 2004 Games may not be safe, the conservative main opposition party claimed yesterday. The steel-and-glass domes designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava to roof the two venues are not «structurally safe,» according to a safety analysis presented by New Democracy MP Marios Salmas, and need to be adjusted. Salmas said the analysis was in a paper written by the technical advisers to the Athens 2004 organizers. The technical advisers refused to discuss the issue. Calatrava’s assistant, Sonia Elisario, said the safety of the structures was guaranteed. «I inform you, on behalf of Mr Calatrava and our engineering department, that we guarantee the safety of our structures,» Elisario said. Government spokesman Christos Protopappas accused ND of «disaster mongering.» [Fearing construction delays, the International Olympic Committee will wait until April before approving – or axing – the project.] (AP)