29 May, 2004
Minister of State and government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos on Friday underlined the government's whole-hearted commitment to hosting successful Olympics in August, responding to questions regarding statements by Environment Minister George Souflias in Parliament the previous day.
Roussopoulos said that Souflias had expressed specific concerns regarding the Olympic Games, both before a Parliamentary committee and in statements to the press, while noting that the government considers the matter closed.
"The government supports the Olympic Games with all our might, it has not regretted the decision to host the Games and considers this a very important affair for Greece," he stressed.
Speaking at Parliament's Educational Affairs Committee, during a debate in which Alternate Culture Minister Fani Palli-Petralia had presented figures showing that several Olympic projects were greatly over budget, Souflias said that he had entertained misgivings about the decision to host the Games from a fiscal point of view. At the same time, he underlined his conviction that the Games will be successful and stressed that he was among those working night and day for their success.
The statement caused uproar among the main opposition, also drawing criticism from main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou.
Source: Athens News Agency