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Tromsø suggests peanuts for security

Tromsø wants to put on the Olympics in 2014, but security is not a prioritized post in the budget proposed by the Norwegian Olympic Committee and the Confederation of Sports.

Vancouver and Athens have budgeted NOK 1.2 billion (USD 180 million) and NOK 4 billion (USD 597 million) representatively for security, while Tromsø’s Olympic committee wants to budget NOK 125 million (USD 18.6 million).

This budget post was actually cut with more than NOK 100 million (USD 15 million) when the Norwegian Olympic Committee and the Confederation of Sports compared Tromsø’s application against Lillehammer’s application.

When asked if this did not appear a little strange since the differences in the amounts budged were so large, Kjell-Åge Gotvassli, head of the evaluation group, stated that he understood that the question was raised. However, he claimed that a small country like Norway will be able to get away with less expenses connected to security than larger countries.

“I believe the security related needs will be possible to handle in Tromsø, but the current world situation will be crucial here,” Gotvassli stated. “This post may suddenly sky rock.”

Less than half of Vancouver

Gotvassli points at another and larger budget post.

“It is possible that they have accounted for some expenses to police and military troops in NON-OCAG, which is federal expenses,” Gotvassli explained.

He could not give an exact amount, but he said he thinks the post equals somewhere between NOK 400 and 500 million (USD 60 and 74 million) of security related expenses in this post.

However, this is still about half of what Vancouver has budgeted to use on security measures in 2010. Vancouver was criticised by IOC on this point because IOC claimed that this amount was underestimated.

Tor Lærgreid, head of the Tromsø committee, still claims that the Norwegian amount is logical.

“There is only one road which goes into the city, and this contributes to the fact that there is not as many security measures that have to be taken into account,” Lægreid stated. “It is completely realistic for us to budget a lower amount.”

The evaluation group at the Norwegian Olympic Committee and the Confederation of Sports have estimated that Tromsø’s need for federal subsidies and investments will be about NOK 6.285 billion (USD 938 million) for hosting the Olympics in 2010.

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