IOC Press Release - 13 March 2004

Fulfilling a pledge to visit Greece as soon as possible after the country's elections, IOC President Jacques Rogge, accompanied by Denis Oswald, Coordination Commission Chairman for the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad, and Gilbert Felli, IOC Olympic Games Executive Director, met today with the new Prime Minister, Mr Costas Karamanlis.
During a productive meeting, which took place this morning at 10.30 a.m. in Athens, the IOC, together with Prime Minister Karamanlis, members of his cabinet and Athens Organising Committee President, Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki and her team, reviewed a number of issues surrounding the Games. Most notably, the parties discussed the government's overall commitment to Games preparations: the construction works of the Olympic venues, transport and infrastructure issues, security and State coordination with Games operations.
Commenting at the end of the meeting, IOC President Rogge said, "This was a very positive meeting and the IOC very much welcomes Prime Minister Karamanlis's decision to take the lead in managing the organisation of the Games by taking responsibility for the Ministry of Culture. This demonstrates the importance that he and his government put on the preparations for the Games and their ultimately successful outcome. 
President Rogge continued, "Our experts have confirmed to us that while a lot remains to be done, there is still time for the preparations to be successfully completed if all energies are mobilised and focused in a common direction. We look forward therefore to seeing some positive steps over the coming days and weeks. I realise how important the Games are to the Greek people and I am sure that they will rise to the challenges that lie before them."