NEWS

2004 cost overruns to be covered

Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, chairing his first meeting of the committee of government officials and Athens 2004 organizers on Olympic preparations yesterday, called for a smooth flow of funds for Games projects along with careful monitoring of costs. The committee decided to speed up work on landscaping the areas around Olympic facilities, to start technical work (such as setting up lighting) at the Olympic aquatic center – now that it will not have a roof – and moving to select a company to provide technical support for the Games. In the next few weeks, Athens 2004 organizers will present the committee with their organizational chart for administering the Olympics. Public Works Minister Giorgos Souflias said after the meeting: «There are some cost overruns but these will be dealt with… No one will know how much until the projects are close to finished.» Transport Minister Michalis Liapis said cost overruns for the tram and urban rail projects alone were «in the tens of millions» of euros. «But no cuts will be made to the detriment of the works.»