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'We can not afford an extravagant Olympics'
Updated: 2006-03-05 08:53

Beijing should host a cost- efficient Olympics in 2008, some Chinese lawmakers noted ahead of the annual session of the National People's Congress (NPC), the top legislature.

Zhang Guiyu, an NPC deputy from eastern Shandong Province, said Friday that Beijing's ambition to host a first-class Olympics does not necessarily mean unreined budget.

"The organizers of the event should exert all efforts to show a best-ever Games to the world with the minimum amount of expenditure," the entrepreneur said.

"There are still many people living under the poverty line, especially in the countryside. We can not afford an extravagant event," he said.

Wang Quanjie, an NPC deputy from Yantai University in Shandong, said that sports are meant to entertain people and should not serve as a showcase of peacockery.

An economical Olympic Games has become a keynote slogan of the event's organizers since the concept of conservation-minded society gained universal recognition.

Organizers has redesigned the National Stadium, decreasing the number of seats. They have also decided to relocate three venues into college campuses to ensure the facilities can serve college students after the Games.

However, organizers lifted the budget of the event from 1.6 billion to 2 billion U.S. dollars last year.

Wei Jizhong, a marketing consultant to the organizer, attributed the rise partly to the increase of security expenses. When Beijing competed to host the Olympic Games and worked on the budget, possible terrorist threat was not considered.

Inflation and price hike also caused the budget rise, Wei said.

The Fourth Session of the Tenth National People's Congress is to open in Beijing on Sunday.

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