The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Monday, August 18, 2003

You'd think the Greeks would be getting pepped up for next year's Athens Olympiad. But as the cost of preparations pile up, and the likelihood of no tangible lasting benefit coming of it becomes more apparent, the Hellenes are losing enthusiasm for the first modern Games to take place on their originating soil.

For the last couple of years, reports of a shaky build-up to 2004 has been having most observers predicting that this Olympics will be a disaster-on-delivery. I'm hoping those assumptions are exaggerated.

Here's what I don't understand: If the cost of staging the Games is such a strain on a small country like Greece, why don't they get the EU to pitch in? What's the point in being part of "United Europe" if they have to go it alone on an international extravaganza like this? A successful Olympics in Athens will benefit all of Europe, so the whole EU should be interested in pulling it off.