The Olympics

The Olympics


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Monday, 24 July 2006

Brown's Olympic Woes

The 2012 London Olympic Games appear to be mired in controversy even though they are still six years away.

Gordon Brown, Chancellor of The Exchequer, is being held to account by MP's over allegations that he has held private meetings with Bechtel, a firm trying to win the right to build the Olympic Games site in east London.

Bechtel, a controversial US construction giant, is one of four groups hoping to win the multi-million-pound contract.

Liberal Democrat MP Don Foster has tabled questions over the issue in the Commons, which are due to be answered today.

The Treasury admitted that it is overseeing the Olympic procurement process.

Foster said:

"There is now clear evidence that the Treasury is going to be involved in the decision over who is the main contractor for the London 2012 Olympics.

In the light of John Prescott's dealings with Philip Anschutz, it is even more vital that the Treasury admits whether it has met with any companies or representatives of those vying to become the 2012 delivery partner

Bechtel has been called by some "the working arm of the CIA". It was the first firm the US government turned to when it awarded contracts to rebuild Iraq. It is also the British government's favourite contractor, and has advised the Treasury on nuclear energy as well as working on the Channel Tunnel rail link, the Jubilee line and the West Coast Main Line rail upgrade.

Bechtel is currently tarnished by the costliest road project in American history - Boston's 'Big Dig' road tunnel - which this month was hit by the biggest scandal of its troubled history after a concrete roof collapsed, killing a woman.

Needless to say, the budget for the Games is spiralling out of control. It is likely that by the time the Games are held, the costs will exceed £10BN.

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