Euro 2012 stadiums to be subsidized by Gov’t

Prime Minister Donald Tusk has assured the mayors of three of the four Polish cities where the Euro 2012 soccer championships will be held that the government will help finance construction of their stadiums. Tusk told the mayors of Poznan, Gdansk and Wroclaw that the government would put up a third of the cost of each of their stadiums. The government will pay the entire cost of the construction of the fourth stadium for the games – Warsaw’s. Tusk promised Poznan and Wroclaw 110 mln zloty each for their stadiua. He pledged 144 mln to Gdansk.

The prime minister met with the three mayors – and the mayor of Warsaw – after the Union of European Football Associations sent a note to Polish soccer officials saying it was alarmed at the slow pace of Poland’s preparations for the games. The meeting included many national politicians and sports officials. Tusk said he viewed the soccer organization’s warning as helpful, not troublesome. “We need to remain in the highest state of readiness,” he told the newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza.

The main reasons that Tusk administration officials called the meeting were to look at models of the stadiums and the work schedules that must be followed to complete them. Gdansk, Poznan and Wroclaw pledged to complete their stadiums by the end of 2010 and Warsaw by 2011. Polish officials also have suggested that Chorzow and Krakow be included in the Euro championships. The two cities are awaiting a decision by UEFA, whose representatives will inspect their facilities soon.

Those at the meeting also created a Euro 2012 organizing committee, with Tusk as chair. The group includes Deputy Prime Ministers Waldemar Pawlak and Grzegorz Schetyna, Minister of Infrastructure Cezary Grabarczyk, Minister of Sports and Tourism Miroslaw Drzewiecki, the mayors of Gdansk, Poznan, Warsaw and Wroclaw, representatives of the Polish Football Association and leaders of all of the parties in parliament. The committee secretary is Tomasz Arabski, the head of the Office of Prime Minister. The committee members agreed to meet at least once a quarter. Those at the meeting also decided to nominate Marcin Herra as manager of PL 2012, an organization created to coordinate the Euro 2012 preparations. Herra, a graduate of the Faculty of Law and Administration of the University of Gdansk, is a former executive at the LOTOS Group, an oil concern from Gdansk.

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