Krakow mayor wants Winter Olympics referendum

Krakow mayor wants Winter Olympics referendum

The mayor of Krakow announced on Monday that he will seek the consent of locals on whether the city should host the Winter Olympics in 2022.

Mayor of Krakow Jacek Majchrowski during Monday's press conference. Photo: PAP/Stanislaw Rozpedzik

Mayor of Krakow Jacek Majchrowski during Monday’s press conference. Photo: PAP/Stanislaw Rozpedzik

Jacek Majchrowski declared at a press conference that he is confident that the Krakow bid will be backed by the public, although earlier he had played down the need to have a referendum.

“Personally, I’m convinced that the organisation of the Winter Olympics would be an important step for the development of our city and region,” he said.

“Surveys carried out a few months ago showed that there is support for the idea [of hosting the games],” he said.

“But in such an important matter, that’s not enough, which is why I am calling on the city council to hold a referendum.”

Some thirty percent of the city’s inhabitants would have to take part for the result to be valid.

As far as costs for staging the games are concerned, Majchrowski stressed that “this is not Krakow acting on its own.”

Although Krakow has applied to be the official host city, some of the events would be held in the Tatra Mountains in both Poland’s Zakopane and Slovakia’s Jasna.

The mayor noted that besides Krakow, funding would be provided by the International Olympic Committee, the Polish state treasury and regional authorities on both sides of the Tatras.

However, he acknowledged that Krakow is also “counting on sponsors.”

Deputy Mayor of Krakow Magdalena Sroka estimated that the entire cost of preparing for and hosting the games could reach 6 billion zloty (1.4 billion euro).

She also forecast that 1.1 billion zloty (262 million euro) would have to be invested in sport facilities, a figure which Majchrowski noted was smaller than the 1.9 billion zloty (442.6 million euro) spent on the National Stadium in Warsaw, which was raised for Euro 2012.

Consultation sessions are now due to be held with NGOs, and no referendum would be held until it has been confirmed which of the five cities that applied a fortnight ago (Krakow, Oslo, Beijing, Almaty and Lviv) has been cleared by the IOC for the next round. This will be clarified in early July 2014. (nh)

Categories: News in English

Write a Comment

Your e-mail address will not be published.
Required fields are marked*