Athens salutes London

Almost a year after last summer’s Olympics, Greek officials yesterday passed on their congratulations, advice and offers of help to London, which was picked to host the 2012 Games after a nail-biting vote. «Faithful to the Olympic ideals, let us hope that these Games will bring the peoples of the world closer together in a spirit of peace and harmony,» said Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyannis in a letter of congratulations to her London counterpart Ken Livingstone. Bakoyannis added that Athens was willing to share the technical know-how that it had picked up thanks to the Athens Olympics. Having paid heavily in terms of finances and stress, due to the last-minute rush to prepare the infrastructure for last year’s Games, Athens advised London to take a different route. «Prepare early,» said Economy and Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis. London would not be financially burdened as heavily as Athens was, he said. The government will launch a tender tomorrow to lease three key Olympic facilities as, 11 months on from the Games, Athens ponders what to do with its stadiums.

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