NEWS

IOC sees ‘safe basis’ for delivery of works

Top International Olympic Committee (IOC) officials insisted yesterday on expressing optimism that Greece will succeed in delivering all Olympics-related projects on time. «We have a clear picture of what is feasible (and) what is at risk. We have a very clear timetable and I think we can work on a very safe basis,» Denis Oswald, a member of the IOC’s executive and chief inspector of the Athens Games, said yesterday. Following the Olympic torch-lighting ceremony in Ancient Olympia on Thursday, IOC president Jacques Rogge declared that «we remain optimistic, but there is a lot to be done still.». Oswald, Executive Director of the IOC Coordination Commission Gilbert Felli and a team of IOC technical experts began a two-day inspection yesterday by meeting with five government ministers and deputy ministers. Two weeks ago, Rogge told the new government to decide quickly which projects were not likely to be finished on time and to speed up others. The government decided to scrap a roof for the open-air swimming pool and scale back works on the marathon route. «We are moving at an intensive pace. We gave specific answers to questions posed by Mr Rogge two weeks ago,» said Deputy Culture Minister Fanni Palli-Petralia. IOC officials yesterday received assurances that a tramway and a connection to Athens International Airport by metro and a suburban railway would be completed on time. They were also told that work on two electricity sub-stations will begin next Wednesday.