Paris’ bid to host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games was given a major boost
today when French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin approved a number of financial
guarantees necessary for the organization of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The signed agreement calls for a financial guarantee totaling Euro 2.5 billion
in public funds. The funding will be earmarked for, among other things, the construction
of the Olympic Village and several new permanent venues within Paris and the neighboring
cities; enhanced overall security; greater accessibility for peoples with a disability;
environmental safeguards; and a mechanism for issuing entry visas to foreign visitors.
In the presence of several representatives of the French Government involved
in the project, including Dominique de Villepin (Minister of Interior), Michel
Barnier (Minister of Foreign Affairs), Gilles de Robien (Minister of Transport),
Jean-François Lamour (Minister of Sport), Léon Bertrand (Minister of Tourism),
Dominique Bussereau (State Secretary in charge of Budget) and Marie-Anne Montchamp
(State Secretary in charge of people with disabilities), Mr. Raffarin said: “We
are in the midst of a global competition where the individual strengths of each
bidding nation are complemented by the underlying spirit and integrity of the
Olympic Games. The French State has committed itself, in a true spirit of partnership,
together with the City of Paris and the Ile-de-France Region to further galvanize
the entire country and bring the Olympic and Paralympic Games to France in 2012.”
Last week, the Paris City council voted to provide similar financial guarantees
of Euro 1.27 billion for the project. The Paris regional authority (Council of
the Ile-de-France Region) has also committed just over Euro 1 billion.
These commitments confirm to the International Olympic Committee that the French
government and relevant public authorities are prepared to make the investment
necessary to host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, should Paris be selected
in July 2005.