Exclusive: Rome 2024 bid unaffected by financial problems, claim CONI

Tuesday, 11 March 2014
 By Nick Butler

Rome withdrew from the race for the 2020 Games but is hopeful of mounting a challenge for 2024 ©AFP/Getty ImagesMarch 11 -  Rome's planned bid for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games is unaffected by the recent Government bailout of the city, the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) has told insidethegames

An emergency decree was passed  by the new Government of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi to bail out the Rome City Council after Mayor Ignazio Marino warned essential services would be halted unless financial help was received.

Around €570 million (£475 million/$787 million) was allocated to pay the salaries of municipal workers and ensure services such as public transport and garbage collection.

In return, Rome must outline plans to reduce debt, justify its current levels of staff, seek more efficient ways of running its public services and sell off some of its real estate.

This comes after Rome's finances sat in a precarious state for years - having been bailed out by the Central Government every year since 2008 -  and its current debt is not expected to be paid off until 2048.

The Government of Italy's youngest ever Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is key to the decision of whether Rome bids for the Games in 2024 ©AFP/Getty ImagesThe Government of Italy's youngest ever Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is key to the decision of whether Rome bids for the Games in 2024 ©AFP/Getty Images






In this context it seems hard to see the Olympic bid making the start-line, let alone end in success, although the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) insist differently.

Speaking to insidethegames today, a CONI spokesman said that "Italy is still thinking about a possible bid but no decision has been made and no decision will be made until early next year."

The spokesman added they have good relationships with both the Government and the City Council and that recent financial events will be "absolutely no problem" with regards to the bid. 

Another Italian official reiterated to insidethegames that CONI are very keen to bid but are completely dependent on the decision of the Central Government.

Renzi's predecessor as Prime Minister, Enrico Letta, spoke favourably about a 2024 bid last September while mayor Ignazio Marino has insisted all of the "necessary requirements" are in place to bring the Summer Games back to Italy for what would be the first time in 64 years.

Rome last hosted the Games in 1960 ©Mondadori/Getty ImagesRome last hosted the Summer Olympic Games in 1960 ©Mondadori/Getty Images



Rome also bid for the 2020 Games but withdrew due to financial concerns voiced by another former Prime Minister, Mario Monti, at the height of the economic crisis in 2012. 

Economic concerns are an issue that have dogged many recent proposed European bids for Summer and Winter Olympic Games.

Stockholm withdrew from the race for the 2022 Winter Games due to a lack of Government and popular support, while Oslo are also yet to secure Government endorsement in their 2022 bid due to concerns over mounting an Olympic bid in such a time of economic vulnerability. 

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Related stories
September 2013: Italian Prime Minister wants to bid for 2024 Olympics and Paralympics
December 2012: Rome Mayor promises that city will bid for 2024 Olympics
February 2012: Rome forced to abandon 2020 Olympic bid

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