NEWS

Rogge: Greece has itself to blame for Games bill

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge has accused Greece of spending too lavishly on the Athens Olympics, despite the IOC’s warnings. In a weekend interview with the Belgian paper Le Soir, Rogge said the IOC had always asked for «simple structures» that would be easier to complete on time. He specifically mentioned the roof covering the Olympic Stadium, which he said cost 190 million euros. «They insisted and we cannot oppose the decisions of a sovereign government. But let no one come and tell us, eye to eye, that the Games have cost too much,» he said. He attributed the huge cost of security preparations to Greece’s «very low level of security (infrastructure).» According to Rogge, the IOC’s lesson from Athens is that «we will favor in the future candidacies with a maximum of infrastructure (ready) and a minimum of virtual plans.»