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SBD Global/July 27, 2012/Olympics

Debt-Hit Spain Will Press On With 2020 Olympics Bid

Spain vowed to press on with its bid for the '20 Olympics despite an economic crisis that "threatened to engulf its economy," according to Karolos Grohmann of REUTERS. The Madrid government is bidding for the third successive time. Tokyo and Istanbul are the other two candidates. Spaniards are questioning the multi-million-euro expense of going ahead with the bid as "an economic crisis shrinks budgets for public services" like hospitals and schools and people are "increasingly asked to make sacrifices." While few formal protests have taken place, critics expect "a growing chorus of public and political opposition" to the bid as spending cuts bite and the Games bid progresses. The government, however, was adamant it already "had much of the infrastructure in place" to host the Games and for the huge influx of visitors, saying this would "lessen the burden on its citizens already facing tough austerity measures." Spain's State Secretary for Sport Miguel Cardenal said, "We are not talking about huge investments here. But we will pursue this project. The government has no doubt whatsoever and is fully behind the bid." (REUTERS, 7/26).
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