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Lawmakers eye Olympic extravagance
Updated: 2006-03-04 11:28

Beijing needs to host a cost-effective Olympics in 2008, some Chinese lawmakers noted ahead of the annual session of the National People's Congress, which begins on Sunday.

Zhang Guiyu, an NPC deputy from eastern China's Shandong Province, said yesterday that Beijing's ambition to host a first-class Olympics does not necessarily mean an unrestrained budget.

"The organizers of the event should exert all efforts to present the best-ever games to the world with the minimum amount of expenditure," the entrepreneur said.

"There are still many people living under the poverty line, especially in the countryside. We cannot afford an extravagant event," he said.

Wang Quanjie, an NPC deputy from Yantai University in Shandong, said sports are meant to entertain people and should not serve as a showcase for "peacockery."

An economical Olympics has become the keynote slogan of the event's organizers.

The National Stadium has been redesigned, decreasing the number of seats. Organizers also decided to relocate three venues to college campuses to ensure the facilities can serve students after the games.

Even so, organizers lifted the budget for the event from US$1.6 billion to US$2 billion last year.

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