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Krakow losses 'billions' after Winter Olympic bid pull out

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 28.05.2014 11:43
The mayor of Krakow has claimed that the city has lost a chance to fast-track a series of key investments by voting against the hosting of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Sunday's referendum.

Mayor of Krakow Jacek Majchrowski (L) and Deputy Mayor Magdalena Sroka. Photo: PAP/Jacek Bednarczyk

Mayor Jacek Majchrowski told Polish Radio that the government had wholeheartedly backed the games, and that the region's infrastructure had been poised for a major boost, with major roads due to be laid.

“According to my calculations, we lost 3 billion zloty [719.9 million euros] that were due to be invested.

“This is a big deal and it will cause a lot of trouble,” he added.

“But so people decided [in the referendum],” he said.

“The idea of the Olympics was that they would serve as a sword with which we would create a bypass, a new road to Zakopane and an entire mass of other investments,” he argued.

Majchrowski claimed that voters were 'misled' by a negative media campaign.

Earlier, Majchrowski had also blamed the initial bid committee for blackening the image of the venture owing to a corruption scandal.

Krakow had been one of five remaining candidates to host the 2022 Winter Olympics (alongside Oslo, Beijing, Almaty and Lviv).

It was estimated that the Polish bid could cost in excess of 21 billion zloty (5 billion euros.) Some of the events had been scheduled to take place on the Slovakian side of the Tatra Mountains.

30 percent of eligible voters had to turn out for Sunday's referendum to be valid, and 35.96 percent ultimately took part. Of these 69.72 percent voted against Krakow's candidature. (nh)

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