Top French firms cough up for Paris olympics bid
PARIS, March 2 (AFP) - Eight major French firms are putting EUR 12 million (USD 15 million) into backing the Paris bid for the 2012 Olympics, organisers said Tuesday.
Accor, the European hotel leader, building, telecoms and media group Bouygues, France’s largest bank Credit Agricole, state-owned electricity supplier EDF, France Telecom, media and high-tech firm Lagardere, car-makers Renault and Paris’ public transport system RATP have joined the bid.
“We want to demonstrate to the IOC that the French economic community is motivated and fully committed to help Paris win,” Arnaud Lagardere, chairman of the business association, said.
Last month Paris announced they had hired American-owned international public relations company Weber Shandwick to help promote their Olympic bid.
Weber Shandwick managed the communication campaigns for Turin, who won the 2006 Winter Games and 2000 Olympic hosts Sydney.
When Paris failed to win the 2008 Games, losing out to Beijing, one of the main criticisms of their campaign was that it was too French.
Paris are the bookmakers’ favourites for the 2012 Games, followed by London.New York, Moscow, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro, Leipzig, Havana and Istanbul make up the biggest field of Olympic candidates after the 1997 vote for the 2004 Games when 10 cities went into the ring against eventual winners Athens.
France was then represented by Lille, Russia by St Petersburg and Spain by Seville. Istanbul and Rio de Janeiro were also competing.
The IOC’s executive board could draw up a short list at its May 18 meeting in Lausanne.
However, IOC president Jacques Rogge has several times insisted the nine are so strong that all of them could be in the final vote by the 125 IOC members at Singapore on July 6 2005.
The French scored a major win over England last year when they won the right to stage the 2007 Rugby World Cup. France also successfully staged the 1998 World Cup soccer tournament and the 2003 athletics World Championships..
Paris says it is spending around USD 25 million on its bid and the estimated cost for the Games won’t be known till November.
London’s plans, centred on a regeneration scheme for a rundown area in east London, will cost USD 4.2 billion.
New York’s Games budget is USD 2.699 billion with capital costs for improvements set at USD 924 million.
Paris (1900, 1924), London (1908, 1948) and Moscow (1980) have already organised the Games. The Moscow Games were hit by a US-led boycott over the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan in 1979.
Subject: France news