EU funds Greek Olympic farce is costing you £50 – Fury at Britain’s £3bn for EU aid package (The Sun, 13 April 2004, page 11)
Almost £3billion of YOUR cash is being pumped into Athens’ botched Olympic preparations – nearly £50 for every man, woman and child in Britain. Last night, with workers struggling to complete the main stadium and HALF the other projects, critics blasted the huge payments. Andrew Allum, chairman of British anti-waste group the Taxpayer’ Alliance, said: “…What’s worse is that UK taxpayers have contributed £2.9billion to this disaster…” The British contribution forms part of a £22.9billion package of EU Olympic aid. As well as sporting arenas and the Olympic village, air, road and rail links are being massively improved.
Greece, along with the UK and all other member states, receives EU funding to help develop and regenerate poor regions, but the country has not received a “£22.9billion package of EU Olympic aid”. Between 2000-2006, £17bn of EU regional funding will be given to boost jobs and infrastructure across the whole of Greece, not just in Athens. This money would have been allocated regardless of whether Athens was hosting the Olympics. The UK receives around £10.5bn of EU regional funding for the same period.