Paris Olympics To Cost Taxpayers $3.2-5.4 Billion

The Paris Olympics this year are likely to cost the state between 3-5 billion euros ($3.2-5.4 billion), according to the French national auditor on Tuesday, as new numbers revealed the country’s rising debt levels.

“We still don’t know the cost of the Olympics,” Pierre Moscovici, the auditing body’s head, told France Inter radio. “These games will cost between three, four or five billion euros.”

Moscovici projected in January of last year that the total cost to taxpayers would be “around three billion euros,” which was an increase from the government’s budget predictions of 2.44 billion euros.

The tab for every Olympics frequently grows in the final phases of preparation as unanticipated expenditures arise or additional monies are required to expedite unfinished building work.

Under the prospect of strikes, the French government is currently negotiating one-time incentives for public-sector employees who will work during the Games, with police pay-offs alone estimated to cost up to €500 million.

The total cost of the Paris Games, including private and public funds, was recently projected at around nine billion euros, up from a budgeted 6.6 billion euros when the city was selected in 2017.

Making cost comparisons between Games is challenging because to a lack of openness in numbers and the complexities of comparing investments across borders.

However, a 2020 research by scholars at the University of Oxford revealed that every summer Games since 1960 has gone over budget, with average sports-related costs exceeding two to three times (172 percent) the initial estimate.

The most prominent overspending occurred in Montreal in 1976 and Rio de Janeiro in 2016, both of which went nearly bankrupt and were heavily in debt, as well as Athens in 2004, which contributed to the country’s debt and financial crisis.

The organizers of the “sober” Games in Paris committed to use existing sporting facilities for 95 percent of their demands in order to reduce new development and costs.

According to numbers released on Tuesday, France’s budget deficit increased to 5.5 percent of GDP last year, putting additional pressure on President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist government to find cost-cutting measures.

France’s public sector debt currently stands at 110.6 percent of GDP, making it the eurozone’s third-most indebted country, trailing only Greece and Italy.



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