2020 Olympics: crisis-ridden Spain confirms Madrid bid

Along with Tokyo, Istanbul

10 October, 16:00

(ANSAmed) - MADRID, OCTOBER 10 - In spite of Spain's ballooning national debt, the Spanish Olympic Committee (COE) on Wednesday confirmed Madrid's bid for the 2020 Summer Olympics in hopes that hosting them will pull the country out of economic stagnation.

Recession-ridden Italy having thrown in the towel in February, Madrid now competes with Tokyo and Istanbul. The Spanish capital came in third after London and Paris in 2012, and was a surprise finalist along with Rio de Janeiro in its bid for the 2016 games.

''If there is a return to budgetary modesty in the Games, then we can symbolize this tendency,'' said COE President Alejandro Blanco in the wake of criticism that with Spain in a major economic crisis, the money could be better spent elsewhere. The winning bid will be announced on September 7, 2013, at the 125th International Olympic Committee session in Buenos Aires. The last time the Olympic Games were hosted in Spain was in 1992, when Barcelona hosted the XXV Olympiad.