SPORTS

Talks during week to focus on rising Olympic budget

With government officials and organizers of the Athens 2004 Olympics growing increasingly concerned over escalating costs for the Athens Olympics, various meetings during the week are expected to focus on keeping the Olympic budget on track. On Thursday, Prime Minister Costas Simitis is due to meet with ministers involved in Olympic Games preparations for a session of talks during which the growing outlays should dominate proceedings. The burgeoning Olympic budget is also expected to be elevated to the top of the agenda at an interministerial meeting planned for today, whose initial purpose was to examine matters related to the Athens Paralympics in September 2004. Various government officials, in recent times, have not refrained from expressing their concerns over the rising Olympic budget. Many of these officials have noted that all ministries involved in Olympic preparations are seeking additional funds to help make ends meet. The battle by ministries for more financing is expected to intensify in the coming days and weeks as the government drafts its Olympic budget for 2004. The government hopes to keep the country’s Olympic budget at the target figure of 4.4 billion euros, an objective that currently seems unattainable.