Greece has become the first country to end up at a loss after the Olympics. Its State property is expected to be auctioned off.
It is always a great honor for a country to host Olympic games. Such event is not only honorary but also quite profitable. All the expenses for the construction of sport facilities, hotels, infrastructure have always been requited either during the Olympics or in a couple of years. Today, one can consider the recent Olympic games in Athens to be a real “economic marvel” with a minus sign: the country faces a huge debt!
Now the festivities are over and the country’s authorities will have to come up with extreme measures to boost the economy. The Olympics have cost Greece about 7 billion Euro. As a result, the country’s deficit has escalated to 5,3% GDP and the country’s debt has come up to 112% of gross domestic product. The numbers double the norms established specifically for the EU members. EU in turn demanded Greece to bring its economy back on track no later than November.
During a meeting with the country’s major investors past Saturday the country’s prime minister Kostas Karamanlis has stated that the government ought to implement a new program of denationalization, which, according to him, will earn the country nearly 1,5 billion Euro. For starters, the “Olympic airlines” company will be auctioned off along with the State’s postal savings bank. Afterward, some more of the State property will be auctioned. The Minister refused has not provided any details on this account.
Cutting back appropriations for military needs could be yet another method to pay off the debt. Most likely, they will be reduced by 400 million Euro by 2005, but that will be just the beginning. Karamanlis, whose conservative political party has come to power in March of this year, blames former socialist government for current situation. According to him, they deliberately lowered the prices pertaining to the Olympic expenses as well as those pertaining to the defense in order to complicate things for their political opponents.
However, it does not look like the socialists are to blame. Ill-advised politics of the record-high prices for the Olympic events is also at fault. Many people simply could not afford purchasing tickets, reserving a hotel room…and in the end many had nothing else to do but to refuse from traveling to Greece altogether. According to some lucky visitors, fruits in summery Greece cost just as much as they do in Moscow in early spring.
Greek fiasco can be put quite simply as “Avaricious person pays twice!”