Green Party reproach will not hit Munich Olympic bid

November 23, 2010

Munich’s bid for the 2018 Winter Olympics will not be affected by a surprise rejection by the Greens, the country’s third biggest political force, Germany’s top sports official said Monday.

The Greens, in opposition but rising in opinion polls, narrowly voted at the weekend for a motion that called the Munich plans “anything but ecologically exemplary.”

Munich’s candidacy, which is up against South Korea’s Pyeongchang and France’s Annecy, has already received the official backing of the German government ahead of the International Olympic Committee vote in July next year.

“The chances of Munich 2018 victory will not suffer from this negative attitude shown by a narrow majority of an opposition party,” German Olympic Sports Federation (DOSB) chief Thomas Bach said in a statement.

“Internationally it is recognized that this concept is ‘the best, and ecologically most sustainable concept, that has ever existed’, as Winfried Hermann, sports spokesperson of the Green Party put it in his speech at the convention,” said Bach, who is also an IOC Vice President.

The DOSB is the country’s umbrella sports organization.

“The time and process of the debate on this comprehensive and complex project, which was scheduled for only a few minutes, clearly show that this was not a democratic debate or consideration of factual issues; instead it appears to be a rejection based on political motives,” said Bach.

The Greens reacted strongly to Bach’s statement, saying his comments were outrageous.

“These comments for a decision of the party against the 2018 bid are more than outrageous and show a lack of understanding for democratic procedures,” said Dieter Janecek, the chairman of the Greens in Bavaria.

“And it is the head of an opaque organization (DOSB) that bristles with commercial interweaving who questions the decisions of a democratically organized party,” he said.

Munich’s bid to become the first city to host summer and winter Olympics has stumbled repeatedly in the past few months following the resignation of bid leader Willy Bogner, a land row with residents of Garmisch-Partenkirchen — site of the skiing events — and an Interior Ministry report questioning the candidacy’s financial numbers.

The other two bids have faced their own problems recently with Pyeongchang receiving an IOC warning over two sponsorship deals involving South Korean companies and France’s Annecy forced to rework their project after getting low marks in an IOC technical report in June.

(Source: Reuters)