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SBD Global/August 14, 2014/Olympics

Athens Games Deemed 'Waste Of Money' After 10 Years As Venues Crumble

Ten years after Athens hosted "the world's greatest sporting extravaganza, there is little to celebrate at the birthplace of the modern Olympic Games," according to REUTERS. Many of the "once-gleaming Olympic venues have been abandoned, while others are used occasionally for events such as conferences and weddings." Just days before the 10th anniversary of the 2004 Games, "many question how Greece, among the smallest countries to host the Games, has benefited from the multi-billion-dollar event." For Greeks "who swelled with pride at the time, the Games have become a source of anger as the country struggles through a six-year depression, record unemployment, homelessness and poverty." Eleni Goliou, who runs a grocery store in the capital, said, "They spent money they didn’t have -- our money, taxpayers’ money -- on a big party." New trams, highways and a host of gleaming Olympic venues "appeared alongside outdated infrastructure in the sun-drenched capital of four million people." The Games cost Greece an estimated $11B, "double initial projections." Aristotle University of Thessaloniki economics professor Dimitris Mardas said, "It was a waste of money and all for show" (REUTERS, 8/13)
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