Vote of confidence from IOC

The International Olympic Committee’s top inspector for Athens, Denis Oswald, yesterday expressed satisfaction with the progress of Greece’s preparations for the Games and played down fears of low spectator turnout in August. «I am impressed,» he said during a visit to the main Olympic complex at Kalogreza, northern Athens. «I was here three weeks ago and the progress achieved from that time until today is enormous.» Asked about ticket sales – only 1.95 million of the 5.3 million seats available have been booked so far – Oswald described the figures as «satisfactory,» and voiced hopes that Greeks will flock to attend Olympic soccer matches. «Following the victory of the Greek national team in the Euro 2004 [championship], we believe the tickets for the Olympic football tournament will be distributed very quickly.» Also yesterday, Athens 2004 Organizing Committee President Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki discussed the course of Greece’s preparations with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.