Madrid, Nov 30: The Spanish Olympic Committee (COE) will slash the cost of its bid to host the 2020 Olympics by up to 40 percent compared to its spending on a failed attempt to get the 2016 Games.
Though the COE did not release figures, committee head Alejandro Blanco said Tuesday the bid plans to cut 30 to 40 percent from the previous ¤37.8 million ($50.4 million) budget, leaving it somewhere between ¤22.7 million ($30.2 million) and ¤26.5 million ($35.3 million).
Blanco did not say how the budget would be split between the public and private sectors in one of the largest debt-strapped eurozone nations.
With 21.5 percent unemployment and a troubled economy, Blanco believes that finally landing the Summer Games at the third attempt would provide Spain with a vital boost.
"We need the Games," Blanco was quoted as telling Spanish media. "This country, with its current political and economic situation, needs a project such as this. The Games mean a lot to all countries but, for Spain, it means a lot more."
On Tuesday, the mayor's office founded the Madrid 2020 Society, which will manage a bid that is up against: Tokyo; Rome; Istanbul; Doha, Qatar; and Baku, Azerbaijan.
Madrid failed to land the 2012 or 2016 Games, which subsequently went to London and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, respectively.
The current bid has gone low-profile with Spain in a pinch financially as it is desperate to meet deficit-reduction targets amid the continuing eurozone debt crisis.
A new conservative government will take power on Dec. 22 and austerity and reforms will begin to take power.
With 78 percent of infrastructure already completed, Blanco said no money would be spent on the bid -- apart from the sum for the organizing committee -- until 2013.