NEWS

More rooms found for IOC officials

Up to 90 percent of quality Athens hotel rooms will be reserved for International Olympic Committee (IOC) officials and other dignitaries visiting the capital for the 2004 Games, the government said yesterday. The interministerial committee on the Athens Olympics decided to increase the number of reservations for foreign dignitaries and IOC members in luxury, first and second class hotels from 80 to 90 percent of available rooms. This followed IOC complaints that the government needed to secure at least another 2,800 rooms. Acting government spokesman Telemachos Hytiris stressed that no new hotels would need to be built. He said extra accommodation would also be found in cruise ships, hotels that were not initially included in the 2004 program, and in hotels currently being renovated. It is still unclear where the hundreds of thousands of spectators will stay. Hytiris said the committee would address that matter in its next session, on March 20.