Athens Olympics struggles to keep pace

Greek Government promise show will go on despite landscape and architecture backlogs

Greece’s new Government has promised the Earth’s biggest sports show will go on in August despite backlogs with landscape and architecture. The new culture ministry was defiant about the Athens Olympic timetable despite the legendary marathon route being potholed. Plans for 17,000 trees have been almost halved to 9,000, Dates for tramlines are under threat and a swimming pool also lags behind proposed building dates. With fewer than six months until the August 13 opening ceremony, the showpiece Olympic stadium, a highly complex design with retractable roof by Santiago Calatrava, is also behind schedule. However a spokesman for the Government said it would slash bureaucracy to finish on time. Successes include pedestrianisation of big areas of downtown Athens and moves to clean the pall of smog that pollutes the city. The Athens Organising Committee insisted delays were unimportant as long as contractors met the August 13 deadline.

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