Better utilisation of Olympic facilities, sports tourism and the International Committee for the Mediterranean Games (ICMG) decision to take away the 2013 Med Games from Volos and Larissa were among the issues to which Deputy Culture and Tourism Minister Giorgos Nikitiadis referred to on Thursday during an interview.
He underlined that the Olympic facilities in Athens have opened their doors to the people, implementing a pledge made by the prime minister. Specifically, he stated that a section of the Tae Kwon Do indoor facility in the Paleo Faliro district of southern coastal Athens has opened for rehearsals of theatre groups, while a tender has been announced for the construction of a metropolitan convention centre.
Nikitiadis also stressed that local residents were given free access to the Olympic Rowing and Canoeing Centre in Schinias, in cooperation with the local authorities. Meanwhile, efforts are being made in cooperation with the environment, climate change and energy ministry to ensure that the Aghios Kosmas Olympic sailing centre will become accessible to the people. In addition, the Ano Liosia Olympic Hall is utilised by athletes of several sports federations.
Responding to a question on sports tourism, Nikitiadis stressed that major sports events are being promoted, such as the annual Athens Marathon and the Acropolis Rally race.
Asked about the high-profile decision by the International Committee for the Mediterranean Games (ICMG) to take away the 17th
Mediterranean Games in 2013 from the Thessaly cities of Volos and Larissa, Nikitiadis stressed that “we had lowered the cost by 1/3 compared to the initial budget and we were ready. Apparently, the ICMG had a different opinion. It is obvious that its decision had been taken in advance. It is clear that it did not want games without needless spending.”