French president pushes Paris Olympic bid, forms government

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French president pushes Paris Olympic bid, forms government

Michael Aloisio, the deputy general director of the Paris bid, said before it would be hard for Paris to freeze the project for four extra years "because there's a need for the people around this area for housing".

"Emmanuel Macron told Patrick Baumann (head of the IOC's inspection team) that he would definitely be in Lausanne for the IOC's debriefing and also in Lima on September 13", Drut, France's 110m hurdle champion at the 1976 Games, said.

In addition, the bid committee said new public transport infrastructure will make the village more accessible, with the creation of a new train station, and a road interchange that should make it accessible from the center of Paris in about 20 minutes by auto.

International Olympic Committee evaluation commission head Patrick Baumann again praised the Paris bid but would not be drawn into direct comparison between the French capital and Los Angeles.

Many Parisian landmarks, including the Grand Palais, the Arc de Triomphe, the Champ de Mars and the Eiffel Tower, will be used if Paris wins.

The commission's visit officially started on the day French president Emmanuel Macron, a fervent supporter of the Paris bid, took power.

"And there is also the Olympic history, with the Baron Pierre de Coubertin, this is where modern Olympics were born", Baumann said.

"Our team has a new member, the new President of France, Emmanuel Macron", bid leader Tony Estanguet said on Sunday.

Macron is a strong supporter of the Paris bid to host the Olympics for the first time in a century and even before Sunday's investiture he had telephoned Olympic chief Thomas Bach to confirm his support. The host city election will take place on September 13 in Lima, Peru.

But the International Olympic Committee has four vice presidents looking into the prospect of awarding the 2024 and 2028 Games at the same time to ensure a "win-win" scenario.

The commission will publish reports on both bids on July 5. "Both cities have an Olympic tradition, venues ready to use and dedicated teams".

"This could help our candidacy for sure - the new president, who receives the commission just two days after his nomination, and who is the same age as our co-president Tony Estanguet".

Macron's commitment to securing the Olympics was underlined by his one hour meeting with the International Olympic Committee taking place just two days after his inauguration as France's youngest president at 39 years of age since Napoleon. But Paris still needs to build an aquatics center close to the Stade de France, a media center and the Olympic Village.

Ever the diplomat, the Swiss head of the world basketball federation added: "The bid team responded to all our questions - all our remarks, as was the case in Los Angeles last week". While Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti appeared at least willing to consider hosting the 2028 Olympics if the city isn't awarded its first choice of 2024, Hidalgo said Paris is set for the earlier edition.

Baumann also brushed off concerns about the costs of the Paris bid, whose infrastructure budget has been estimated at 3 billion euros ($3.3 billion), with operational costs of 3.2 billion euros.

(AP Photo/Michael Sohn). New French President Emmanuel Macron, right, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, pose for the media after a joint press conference as part of a meeting in Berlin, Germany, Monday, May 15, 2017 during Macron's first forei.

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