Post-Olympic ruins?

The government’s helplessness in determining the use of Olympic venues, which is now clear to all, betrays the fact that Greece’s decision to host the Games was frivolous – not just because organizing such a huge event exceeded the potential of a small country but also because the Greek State simply does not have the capacity to manage such an undertaking. This ineptitude was evident in the long period of inactivity and the anxious culmination of organization for the Games, and by the extra costs and sloppy work that always result from leaving things to the last minute. The hefty post-Olympics bill is already being compounded by the devaluation of the sports venues for which no long-term use had been planned. And all the while, the collective memory of the euphoria of the Games – which the new venues had of course contributed toward – continues to fade… Soon, Athenians will have no memory of what they had experienced, and what they had hoped for, just six months ago; so it is rather optimistic to believe that the foreigners who visited our capital will have a clearer memory and will rush back to boost our tourism sector… And although there is no doubt that Costas Simitis’s governments were to blame for the lack of planning that went into the Olympics, its current New Democracy successor must also carry some blame for failing to draft viable measures during its long stint in opposition and its 11 months in government…

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