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21 March, 2002
The latest inter-ministerial meeting focusing on preparations for the 2004 Olympics concluded here on Wednesday, roughly two weeks before another high-ranking International Olympic Committee (IOC) delegation arrives in Athens to gauge progress.
The meeting - chaired by Prime Minister Costas Simitis -- focused on relevant ministries' responsibility vis-a-vis a variety of on going 2004-related projects as well as the all-important issue of security for the Games.
According to reports, Public Works Minister Vasso Papandreou called for necessary funding for projects in order for them to be completed on time. Conversely, she noted that work on the venue sites is proceeding as planned, cautioning however, that no delays are possible.
Deputy Press Minister Telemahos Chytiris, meanwhile, said the inter-ministerial meeting covered a series of issues brought up in recent months by IOC vice-president Denis Oswald - who also serves as the head of a commission supervising progress for the Athens Games - including rolling stock for a planned suburban rail line, a tram network in southern Athens, traffic studies as well as the Olympic hospitality program.
Chytiris said lodgings in private homes and rooms will be considered for the 80,000 to 150,000 spectators that Athens 2004 organizers (ATHOC) expect for the Games on a daily basis. He added that a new unified agency will be created to survey and inspect such accommodations prior to the 2004 Games.
PM discusses 2004 Olympiad programs with ATHOC president:
Prime Minister Costas Simitis received Athens 2004 Organizing Committee (ATHOC) President Gianna Angelopoulos Daskalaki on Wednesday, immediately after an Interministerial Committee meeting, who briefed him on the course of Athens 2004 Olympiad programs and meetings she had recently with local and overseas officials.
Daskalaki also briefed Simitis on the schedule of the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) delegation, which will be in Athens on April 3-5, for inspection of all sectors of preparation.
On its part, the Interministerial Committee examined all pending issues and problems concerning the preparation of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.
Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos said ''15 days before the IOC's arrival, we examined all the issues concerning the preparation of the Olympic Games and we are ready to present a clear and tangible progress, 30 workshops and another 10 contractors. We are in full control of the situation, we are resolving all problems and now we shall begin to preoccupy ourselves with intangible programs since constructions are on their way.''
Referring to the meeting chaired by Simitis earlier, with the participation of himself and the transport, development, public order and public works ministers, as well as the deputy press minister, Venizelos said ''the meeting concerned projects of governmental responsibility related to the Olympic projects, while a discussion was also held on the issue of the Games' security.''
Source: Athens News Agency