08 July, 2004
LONDON, 8/7/2004 (ANA/L.Tsirigotakis)
The British daily "The Daily Telegraph," on Wednesday published an article written by Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, titled "The View from Athens: Ready to Welcome Games Home."
Karamanlis begins his article with a reference to the Greek soccer team's victory in the Euro 2004 championship. "The Greek players proved that if we work systematically, with persistence and determination, we can achieve astonishing feats. Our national team have made all of us proud; they gained the respect of our adversaries and proved that 'heart talk' is occasionally stronger than 'hard talk.' We are deeply grateful to our players, our coach Otto Rehhagel and everyone who made the dream come true. Our Euro 2004 success, is in fact, another sign of our sound decision to change pace and move ahead. This is a one-of-a-kind passport to global recognition of our resolution to be successful in our tasks."
On the Olympic Games, Karamanlis wrote: "Organizing a successful and safe Olympic Games in Athens has been a goal that united all Greeks. In order to fully stand up to the demanding organizational standards and our own aspiring vision for the Games, we have been working hard, taking good care that all necessary provisions are well met. By putting myself at the top of the Olympic preparations, I intended to send a clear message, on behalf of the Greek government, that in spite of overblown and unjust criticisms everything will be prepared on time."
The prime minister also expressed his confidence that Greece stands much to gain from the Olympic Games. "We are certain that Greece, after having hosted the Olympics, will be a more experienced, self-confident, optimistic country. Greece will have proved that medium-sized countries are capable of successfully organizing world-scale international events," he wrote.
Karamanlis also emphasized that the country has been taking measures that will enable Greece to capitalize on the Olympics experience, in terms of economic growth, in sectors such as telecommunications, business, tourism, services, construction and others.
Source: Athens News Agency