Belatedly hasteful

The sudden haste displayed by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis in calling a Cabinet session earlier this week – when he asked all ministers to submit proposals for possible uses of Olympic venues after the Games – is very justifiable but somewhat belated. Indeed, solutions regarding the post-Olympic use of venues being constructed specifically for the Games should have been determined by the previous government. And they should have been determined while the works were still under construction – after all, every month that such venues remain unexploited constitutes a heavier burden on public finances. Without a doubt, it would have been possible to construct lightweight, prefabricated buildings instead of many of the expensive, permanent structures that have been produced for the Games (many in order to satisfy major contractors). This would have avoided the massive maintenance costs we will now have to pay to run many of these venues once the Games are over. As it was known that several stadiums and other venues had to be created, the rationalistic planning for these extravagant constructions should have included alternative proposals for their exploitation after the Games to ensure they are properly maintained and the investment is paid off. So Karamanlis’s belated haste in gathering proposals for post-Olympic venue use is not so surprising.

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