Mediterranean Games to go ahead without government funding
The Greek organising committee for the Mediterranean Games (OCMG) have rebuffed claims that the country could lose the right to host the 2013 edition of the event over budget issues.
International Committee for the Mediterranean Games (ICMG) president Amar Addadi had revealed on December 10 that Greece was in the "red zone" and risked having the Games taken away if they failed to build two planned villages for athletes
The cities of Volos and Larissa in central Greece were awarded the event in 2007 but the government's decision to withdraw 190 million euros ($251.6 million) of funding for the accommodation projects due to austerity measures put in place to deal with the country's economic crisis had placed doubts over Greece 's ability to host the event.
But OCMG say that a "feasible and reliable alternative" will be accepted by the ICMG.
"Firstly, without any doubt the games will take place in Greece in 2013 and secondly the development of the region and the country will also take place," OCMG president George Koletsos said.
"Since the government stated that they are incapable of providing the funds we have been looking at alternative scenarios which will allow us to give the best possible solution for the athletic family."
Among the alternatives that the OCMG are investigating are housing athletes and officials in university accommodation and luxury cruise liners at the port of Volos.
Koletsos and his team gave their latest progress report to the ICMG's coordination commission on December 12 and he revealed that all preparations are on track.
"The ICMG have given us their approval to be able to come back with a feasible and reliable alternative solution to the villages within the first quarter of 2011 and that is exactly what we plan to do," he said.
After delays in the start of preparations for the Games, the new OCMG team headed by Koletsos was installed in March, with the reduced budget.
The Greek organizing team will report back to the ICMG with their proposals early in the New Year ahead of the ICMG's Executive Committee meeting, which is scheduled for March 2011.
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