MADRID (AP) — Officials in charge of Madrid's bid for the 2020 Olympics say they represent a "safe option" for staging the Summer Games despite the deep financial crisis that is engulfing the country.
Bid finance director Manuel Parga and IOC executive board member Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr. on Tuesday defended the economic viability of the bid, while officials presented an opinion poll showing overwhelming support among Spaniards for staging the games. Organizers have said it would only cost $2 billion to fund the Olympics, since most of the infrastructure is already in place.
Samaranch, the son of the former IOC president, said "this is a very safe option for the Olympic movement," adding that it was "minimum investment, minimum risk." Spain has entered its second recession in three years and has a 26-percent unemployment rate. The IOC's evaluation commission is making a four-day inspection of Madrid, which is competing with Tokyo and Istanbul.