NEWS

Condemned trees to be replanted for 2004

Seeking to boost its wobbly environmental image, the Athens 2004 Organizing Committee said yesterday it had arranged to save thousands of condemned olive trees from island construction sites. A committee statement said 1,500 «large olive trees» will be replanted along the 42-kilometer Marathon race route leading down Attica’s eastern coast to Athens. It said a total of 4,000 olive trees scheduled for destruction were being saved from housing estate sites in Crete and Zakynthos. The government and Athens 2004 officials have promised to plant 4,000 acres of land in Athens with about 100 million trees, bushes and shrubs before the Games, at a cost of 364 million euros. So far, little has materialized, prompting the International Olympic Committee official overseeing Greek preparations, Denis Oswald, to note a year ago that «trees need time to grow.»