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Environmental group wants Hamburg Olympic bid stopped in referendum

Europe
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Hamburg (dpa) - German environmental group BUND on Thursday called on Hamburg‘s residents to stop the city‘s bid for the 2024 Olympics in a referendum next month, citing financial and environmental concern.

Regional BUND chief Manfred Braasch said a recent report on overall costs was too vague concerning a Games legacy.

He said that the report did also not contain ecological compensation costs in connection with the reconstruction of parts of the city‘s harbour where the Olympic Park is to be erected.

Braasch said these costs alone were "at least double digit million (euros, dollars) figures."

Hamburg mayor Olaf Scholz presented the estimate last week, saying the Games would cost 11.2 billion euros (12.6 billion dollars), with 7.4 billion euros from the taxpayers and Hamburg itself shouldering 1.2 billion euros.

Scholz spoke of "the best calculated Olympic Games ever."

In Thursday‘s edition of Die Zeit, German Olympic Sports Confederation chief Alfons Hoermann praised the report and said "Hamburg residents don‘t need any further clarity" as they have been well informed about all aspects of the bid.

Pending the outcome of the referendum set for November 29, Hamburg is competing against Los Angeles, Paris, Rome and Budapest to stage the 2024 Games. The International Olympic Committee elects the host city at its 2017 session in Lima.

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