Greek Olympic Committee: Budget cuts killing sport

Greek Olympic Committee says 2013 state funding cuts will leave federations unable to function

Associated Press
Greek Olympic Committee: Budget cuts killing sport
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Members of Greece's Olympic Committee are seen in front of the committee logo during a press conference in Athens, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012. Greek sporting officials warned Thursday that new drastic funding cuts in the country's state budget for 2013, to be voted on in Parliament Sunday, will force sports federations to suspend activities next year. They said the money earmarked for them will barely cover operating expenses, and leave nothing for travel, coaches' fees and athletes. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- Greece's Olympic Committee says deep funding cuts in the 2013 state budget will hamstring sports federations — less than a decade after hosting the 2004 Games.

Committee officials say federations will be unable to function next year when their share of state funding will shrink to about $19 million from $44.6 million in 2012.

That represents a 75 percent cut from 2009, committee deputy chairman Sakis Vassiliadis said a news conference on Thursday.

"We had been prepared for a gradual adjustment, but now we have to cope in two months," he said. "I don't think any (of the federations) will be able to handle it and this will be the final blow."

Debt-crippled Greece has approved harsh spending cuts to secure vital international bailouts.

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