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Prague 2016’s Bid Depends On Guarantees

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While one Prague newspaper, the daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD), reports that the Czech Prime Minister doesn’t want to sign the guarantees for Prague’s 2016 Summer Olympic bid, the financial newspaper Hospodarske noviny (HN) writes that Prague will enter the race with the government’s guarantee.

Czech Premier Mirek Topolanek said Czech officials will support Prague’s bid by approving formal legal guarantees to protect foreign athletes’ safety. He said, “as long as the legal guarantees are not tied into financial obligations, I think we can give formal approval”.

The government is meeting Wednesday to vote on the proposal. An application must be sent to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) by January 14.

Approving the legal guarantees obligates the city to respect the Olympic Charter to allow free movement of the athletes, coaches and journalists with accreditation, passports and valid visas during the Games, reports MfD.

HN writes that Topolanek has refused to provide the financial guarantees of 25.7 billion crowns Prague will need in February 2009.

Prague Mayor Pavel Bem said if the government does not grant the legal guarantees it will harm the Czech Republic’s reputation. “It would be a shame. The government would admit that there is no rule of law in the Czech Republic”.

Tomas Petera, head of Prague 2016, said he explained to Topolanek what the guarantees meant and that the signature wouldn’t cost the government “a single penny”.

On Thursday Prague 2016 meets to decide whether to send Prague’s bid application to the IOC, depending on the outcome of the government’s meeting Wednesday. Write or read comments about this article

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