04 September, 2004
A state-controlled holding company on Friday cited three axes for best exploiting new Olympic Games venues and infrastructure, something that has pre-occupied practically every Olympic host-city.
According to the leadership of the Hellenic Olympic Properties SA company, maximum fiscal return -- so as not to burden taxpayers -- along with maximizing social and financial benefits and using the properties as a lever of development for surrounding areas are the very broadly defined goals for facilities -- 14 in all -- that helped Athens host one the best Olympic Games ever.
The president of Hellenic Olympic Properties, Christos Hatziemmanouil, said the 14 venues cost 870 million euros to complete, and without the land value taken into account.
Conversely, he said precise operational costs still cannot be estimated until contractors officially handover the facilities along with all relevant technical details and specifications.
Asked about the all-important “private sector interest” so far, Hatziemmanouil merely responded in the affirmative, without going into details.
“We have a specific view of where we want to go for all the properties, but we must first ascertain whether there is real demand for what we have in mind, because we’re not going to follow the tactic of first making plans on paper and then just issuing orders … if we see that one use doesn’t pan out at a specific venue, then we must re-think this…” he said.
On her part, Deputy Culture Minister Fani Palli-Petralia said “we just hosted excellent and safe Olympic Games, and in a few days we will be ready for the Paralympic Games. Therefore, we won the first wager, with the second one, namely, that of best exploiting post- facilities and infrastructure in the post-Olympics period, now remaining.”
The list of venues transferred to Hellenic Olympic Properties includes the Faliro Hall, the new Agios Kosmas sailing marina, the beach volley venue at Faliro, the weightlifting hall in Nikaia, the indoor hall at Galatsi, the modern pentathlon and badminton complex at Goudi, the indoor hall at Ano Liossia, the main press centre, the equestrian centre at Markopoulo, the shooting centre at Markopoulo, the rowing centre at Schinias as well as the new soccer stadiums in Patra, Volos and Irakleio, Crete.
In a related development on Friday, mayors of municipalities that host Olympic venues called for the establishment of a state-control central management body to develop a unified post-Olympic policy for related facilities and infrastructure. Speaking during a conference held specifically to focus on post-Olympics use, the mayors also called for local administrations to have a say in managing the venues.
Source: Athens News Agency