Italy says no to Rome’s 2020 Olympic bid

It was just announced by Italy’s Premier Mario Monti, that the Italian Government will not support the city of Rome’s bid for the 2020 Olympic Games – and for good reason.

You may have noticed that the country is sort of in the midst of a little financial crisis! And with the bid estimated to set Italy back approximately €12.5 billion, the decision is obviously being hailed by many economists as a financially sound one.

Making the announcement, Monti stated, “Italy can and must have ambitious goals. Our government is focused also on its growth, not just on strictness, but at this time we don’t think it would be fitting to commit Italy to this type of guarantee, which could put at risk taxpayers’ money.”

I for one, agree 100% with the decision. Given the current climate, Monti has no other choice but to be frugal and ensure no further unnecessary waste of tax payer dollars. The hard line will also send a message to the Eurozone and beyond that this technocratic government continues to make the hard choices it was brought in to make.

Being a citizen of the city however, it is slightly disappointing that the bid is no longer going ahead. Had Rome continued and actually won the right to stage the Games, the city would have been given a long overdue facelift.

While Roma never loses beauty in my eyes, living there you can’t help notice the cracks. The city is tired and a refresh would have been timely! The bid and subsequent hosting would have given light to numerous public projects from stadium development to cultural programs to the arts.

But the situation is what it is.

Together with many other conservative financial measures being implemented to stimulate growth, reduce debt and create employment, these short term pains will hopefully see the country turn a corner and return to the respected and thriving global economy it should be.

It has a very long way to go.

Signing off from Melbourne (but thinking if Rome always)

Baci, Maria

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