PtG Article 15.02.2012

Rome scraps bid for 2020 Olympics

Rome has scrapped its bid for the 2020 Olympics after Prime Minister Mario Monti decided that the Italian government would not provide the necessary financial backing at a time of financial crisis.

Rome’s Olympic project came with an estimated price of $12.5 billion, and for the IOC to consider the bid, the government of the bidding city has to provide a guarantee that it will cover any deficit. 

"We arrived at this unanimous conclusion that the government didn't feel it was responsible to assume such a guarantee in Italy's current condition," Monti said. "We studied the plans with great care.

"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."

The decision came a day before the deadline for formal submission of bid files to the IOC.

By scrapping Rome’s bid for the Olympics, Monti sent a strong message to the financial markets that the Italian government is serious about reviving the country’s economy and cutting its debt. 

Five cities are left in the race to host the 2020 Olympics: Madrid, Spain; Tokyo, Japan; Istanbul, Turkey; Doha, Qatar; and Baku, Azerbaijan. The IOC will select the host city in 2013.