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Olympic Chief Advises Planners

April 2, 2002

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ATHENS, Greece (AP) _ The chief organizer of the Sydney Olympics advised planners for the 2004 Athens Games on Tuesday on such issues as crowd control and terrorism.

The briefing by Michael Knight came on the eve of a three-day inspection by the International Olympic Committee. The IOC recently expressed concern about the completion of transportation projects.

Knight met with Premier Costas Simitis and 2004 counterpart Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki. Athens is racing against the clock after years of delays and disunity.

Knight said the biggest challenge facing organizers is ``how you make the whole jigsaw fit together.″

One problem has been lack of cooperation between 2004 organizers and the government, which is in charge of all major Olympic works.

``There is a very strong appreciation that they are all in the one boat,″ Knight said. ``And not only is it necessary for them to steer in the same direction, but they also have to row in the same direction.″

The IOC inspectors are expected to question organizers over how many transportation projects can be finished by the August 2004 Games.

Transport Minister Christos Verelis visited the site of a proposed suburban light rail line Tuesday and promised it will be ready.

Athens’ mayor has filed a suit to block the project because of fears it could worsen traffic in some areas. Angelopoulos-Daskalaki said she was ``shocked″ by the challenge.

On Tuesday, Athens organizers hired a team of technical advisers to help oversee construction of Olympic venues and other facilities.

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