Age won’t count for Games flats

Hoping to attract foreign ticket-holders seeking to rent apartments in central Athens during the Summer Games, tourism officials said yesterday they would scrap a controversial clause excluding buildings more than 23 years old from the Olympic rental program. The clause had been described as «incredibly silly» by officials running the Athens 2004 private home rental program, who pointed out that few apartment blocks in desirable central areas, such as Plaka and Kolonaki, had been built after 1981. Yesterday’s decision by Greek National Tourism Organization head Nikos Dimadis came as the consortium handling the program, Philoxenia 04, indicated that, while demand for private Athens flats was low, most of the ticket-holders who had expressed an interest wanted to stay in the center. So far, 200 flats have been booked. Nearly all the city’s top hotels have been reserved for International Olympic Committee officials and other foreign dignitaries.