Government Concerned Over Delays at Nain Olympic and Seaside Sports Complexes

Fri March 28, 2003 - National Edition

The government expressed concern Friday, March 21 about delays at two major sports complexes that are crucial for next year’s Olympic Games.

One is the main Olympic sports center, where organizers want to build a giant steel-and-glass-dome over its stadium. The other is a sports complex at Athens’ old Hellenikon international airport, to host canoe and slalom events, basketball preliminaries, softball and baseball.

Sports Minister Nasos Alevras told the state-run Athens News Agency that delays at both are due to lawsuits, the first by construction companies, the second by companies and area residents.

Alevras said the stadium dome designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava is a problem "because it is complicated," while related infrastructure projects are delayed by "injunctions from construction companies."

He said construction of the dome is to begin in late April, after a decision is taken during an International Olympic Committee inspection earlier that month.

Alevras said he was optimistic the projects would be completed.

"These are works that have the pressure of time, but I believe they will be ready on time," Alevras told the news agency.