Madrid’s bid to host Olympics under fire

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Madrid’s bid to host Olympics under fire

MADRID - Madrid is pressing on with its third successive bid to host the Olympic Games even though more and more Spaniards are questioning the multimillion euro expense as the economic crisis shrinks budgets for hospitals and schools.

Europe has pledged up to 100 billion euros ($125 billion) in aid for Spain’s ailing banks and the euro zone debt crisis threatens to push the country to needing a full-blown bailout.

Economic woes already prompted Rome to cancel its 2020 Olympic bid.

“The country isn’t up for anything at the moment, we’re about to rescue our banks, we’re on the verge of a full bailout,” said Diego Casado, who writes for popular blog Madrid Me Mata (Madrid Kills Me), outspoken in its opposition to the bid for the Games.

The Madrid 2020 Candidacy Committee argues that the Games could kick-start the economy by creating between 300,000 and 350,000 jobs in a country where almost one in four is unemployed. Reuters

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