Olympics bill worrying but worthwhile

Despite a general consensus that works for next summer’s Athens Olympics are building much-needed infrastructure and that the honor of hosting the Games is well worth their cost, four in five Greeks feel that the bill will be enormous and will burden ordinary citizens. A new poll published in yesterday’s Kathimerini also found that many people feel Greece should never have asked for the Games. The nationwide survey of 2,000 people, conducted between November 18 and December 1 by MRB pollsters for Kathimerini, found that 80.6 percent of all respondents agreed with the argument that «the cost of the Olympic works is enormous and will burden ordinary Greeks.» Furthermore, a sizable 27 percent said that Greece should never have taken on the Olympics – a proposition with which 41.3 percent disagreed. Some 62 percent backed the argument that the Olympics are «an issue that concerns all of us,» and 59.3 percent agreed that it will be a great honor for Greece to host the Games. Furthermore, 39.6 percent said the price tag is worth «the moments of joy and pride we will enjoy during the Games.» However, 34.2 percent conceded that the Olympics are «turning into a great trade fair.» And 42 percent of respondents (17.6 percent in Athens and 61.7 percent in Thessaloniki) voiced «great concern» that preparations for the Olympics are favoring Athens over the rest of the country. Some 58 percent said 2004 organizing committee president Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki’s handling of preparations so far has been «very good» or «good.»