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10 February, 1998
Newly appointed president of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games organizing committee Stratis Stratigis yesterday said the organization of the Games, while a "considerable challenge", posed no fears.
Speaking at a joint press conference yesterday with Sports Undersecretary Andreas Fouras after returning from the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, Mr. Stratigis said of his meeting with International Olympic Committee president Juan Antonio Samaranch:
"The IOC president believes that the Athens Olympics will combine sports with culture linked with history. Mr. Samaranch rightly believes that the 2004 Games will be the best ever held."
With regard to the 2004 budget, Mr. Stratigis stressed that the final budget would be submitted after the Sydney Olympiad in 2000.
"We aren't afraid of anything. The IOC's accumulation of technical know-how and our efforts to adapt the Games to new technology are a guarantee that the Games will be organized successfully," he said.
Questioned with regard to Greece's proposal for a world truce during the 2004 Games, Mr. Fouras said the proposal had become "flesh and blood" in Nagano and had been enthusiastically received by all IOC members.
Asked to comment on the participation in the organizing committee of Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, who led the successful bid committee, Mr. Stratigis said:
"The government wants Mrs. Angelopoulos-Daskalaki on the organizing committee. She has told me that for family reasons she will be unable to do so. However, she will be on the National Committee and has assured me she will ... assist us."
Source: Athens News Agency