Last-minute miracle

With only a few days remaining before the opening of the Games, the opposition should have refrained from instigating a row about which government should receive praise for the completion of Olympics-related projects and about who deserves the most credit for their probable success. Nor should the government have picked up the gauntlet. This is not the right time for meting out praise or responsibilities. That should be done after the curtain has fallen on the Games. Everyone hopes that the Olympics will prove to be a major success. Preparations, however, have put a huge – psychological and financial – burden on people’s shoulders. The first question that must be answered once the Games are over is why six years were wasted before rushing to assign public works under urgent, suspicious and costly procedures. Merriment and celebrations about the «last-minute miracle» cannot compensate for the excessive budget overruns and the lack of transparency in awarding the projects. Delays and revisions put extra strain on taxpayers while generating immense profits for those involved. The newly inaugurated Rio-Antirio bridge is not «characteristic of PASOK’s legacy» as some Socialist officials have it. Rather, the bridge’s exemplary construction, on time and within the designated budget constitutes the sole exception to the rule of overdue deliveries, shoddy construction and suspicious budget overruns. This outstanding exception is attributed to a fortunate coincidence: The former administration had little – if any – involvement in the construction of the bridge. All this is necessary if we are to make a cool and objective overview of the projects being inaugurated these days. We must give credit for jobs well done and attribute responsibility for those that were not based on the same criteria.

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