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|Anne Ups the Ante on Olympics
- Princess urges government decision on London bid
PRINCESS ANNE has put pressure on the government to back a London bid for the 2012 Olympic Games.
Anne said: "The sports are unanimous about supporting a bid and, as the British Olympic Association president, I am happy to go along with that. Now we have to wait until we find out what the government's response is."
The government is reckoned to be divided on the issue, with Culture Minister Tessa Jowell and Sports Minister Richard Caborn reviewing a possible London bid at the moment. The sticking point appears to be that the government would have to put up the bulk of the UKP14 million needed to fund any bid, plus the estimated UKP2 billion to host the games itself.
The princess pointed out that such a cost could be seen as an investment, as London would be expected to recoup much of the money through tourism, but the government has had its fingers burned before on high profile entertainment projects, most notably with the Millennium Dome, which still stands empty in Greenwich.
Cost considerations aside, Anne's intervention marks something of a break in royal protocol as royals are not expected to make their views public on controversial issues.