NEWS

Poll on Games finds pessimism

Up to a million Greeks propose to watch the Summer Olympics from the stands, according to a poll made public yesterday, which also noted high levels of pessimism regarding the long-term benefits of the Games. The nationwide poll carried out from November 11-24 by GfK Market Analysis, and made public by the Athens News Agency, found that an overall 62 percent of respondents would watch the Olympics on television, 12 percent had yet to make up their minds and 11 percent would not follow the Games at all. Some 5 percent said they would be among the spectators, while 9 percent plan to watch the Games both live and on television. Three million tickets will be sold. In the first sales round, Greeks bought some 83 percent of the 473,222 tickets sold. The second phase started in September, but Athens 2004 organizers have released very little on the public response. The poll found that 40 percent of respondents anticipated more problems than benefits from the Games, and 29 percent expected more benefits.