Handout of Olympic gear past 1 mln mark

Some 1 million items of more than 8,000 types of surplus equipment from Olympic sites have so far been distributed to a variety of causes since the process began some three months ago, the government said yesterday. A total of some 1.8 million items, with a market value in excess of 125 million euros, are to be given out in total. Alternate Culture Minister Fanni Palli-Petralia is in charge of the process, which began in late October, whereby items ranging from towels and picture frames to computers, TV sets and even minivans are being delivered to a wide range of recipients. These include the civil service, hospitals, charities, local authorities, universities, the Church and emergency services. Much emphasis has been put on getting the equipment out to the poorer regions and islands, which have received some 659,000 of the 1,005,013 items handed out so far.