NEWS

IOC coming for Athens ’04 talks

The leadership of the International Olympic Committee is expected in Greece next week to discuss delays in preparations for the Athens Games as IOC President Jacques Rogge sent a message to Costas Karamanlis congratulating him on his party’s electoral victory. «Prior to and during their campaigns, the leaders of both New Democracy and PASOK assured the IOC that preparations for the Olympic Games would not be negatively affected by the outcome of the elections. We now look forward to very positive next steps for the Games,» Rogge said in a statement yesterday. Karamanlis met with Rogge and Denis Oswald, the chairman of the IOC’s Coordination Committee for Athens, during the election campaign. His party and PASOK assured the IOC that there would be no major changes to Olympic organizers or security officials. «There is no possibility of changing anything now,» Karamanlis told the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. «I know that there are delays in the works and that mistakes have been made. But this is not the time for criticism.» The new government’s priorities are three: the completion of Olympic projects, some of which, like the marathon course and works at the Olympic Stadium, are seriously delayed; solving the problem of deficits in funding of Olympic projects; appointing ministers to posts related to the Games and choosing which officials from the previous administration to keep in place.