• Spain's news in English
 
app_header_v3

'A Madrid Olympics means more jobs '

AFP · 29 May 2013, 10:00

Published: 29 May 2013 10:54 GMT+02:00
Updated: 29 May 2013 10:00 GMT+02:00

The 62-year-old former judoka - who is also president of the Spanish National Olympic Committee - insisted the bid had united people nationwide who see it as a way of easing the dire situation of the Spanish economy.

Unemployment was at a record 27.16 percent overall at the end of the first quarter.

But such is the enthusiasm across the country that Spain's World Cup and European Championship-winning coach Vicente del Bosque has been encouraged to sign up as an unpaid volunteer.

"It is clear that hosting the Olympic Games will serve as a booster for all the economic spheres of our country," said Blanco.

"This is a project for Spain. The whole country is involved - the business world, top political and sporting authorities, the media and the whole of Spanish sport.

"However, it is citizens' support that matters the most. This support is reflected in both our surveys and those conducted by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which increase day after day as we move towards September (the vote for who hosts the Games takes place on September 7 in Buenos Aires).

"There are more than 40,000 volunteers already, and interestingly, our volunteer number 40,000 is the Spanish national team coach, Vicente del Bosque.

"It is essential for all of us to reach victory and this is why we work 24/7."

Blanco disagreed with some IOC members who claim Madrid will reach the second round of voting at the expense of one of the other two candidates, Tokyo or Istanbul, because they built up a considerable amount of goodwill and a favourable reaction before finishing second behind Rio de Janeiro in the bidding for the 2016 Games.

"First of all, I have to say we respect all opinions, but we believe this is our best chance to be awarded the Olympic Games by the International Olympic Committee, and this is the reason why we are working and explaining our project," he said.

"We have nothing but gratitude, hope, passion and certainty in success. If we all gather as a country we may win. If we truly believe, we must fight. This is a project for Spain, aiming at achieving social transformation through sport."

Blanco said that placing the emphasis on youth was particularly important in Spain, where the rate of unemployment for those between the ages of 16 and 24 has soared to 57.22 percent.

"This bid has been designed for young people," he said.

"We have been listening to them since the beginning of the bid and we know what they want and what they expect from us. According to surveys, 90% of people under 35 support the Games in our city.

"This is the best indicator proving that youngsters see the Games as a window to opportunities, and a boost to recover from the difficult situation we are currently going through. According to our motto, illuminating their future is our priority."

Blanco also said there was no contradiction between two of the bid's claims.

Story continues below…

Madrid have emphasized that the costs of preparing for the Games would be minimal because most of the venues and infrastructure are already in place, while at the same time saying a Madrid win would boost employment, which traditionally for Olympic hosts means in the construction area.

However, Blanco claims the boost in employment will come from other sectors.

"The Madrid Bid has a clear message: 80% of the venues are already built, while the investments for the remaining premises are fully guaranteed," he said.

"The whole project is being developed under a SMART-city concept, which involves optimization of resources and control over investments.

"The studies carried out for our bid state an important number of jobs will be created not only in the construction sector, but also in other important areas for our economy such as tourism and the hotel industry."

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Spain's top ten beaches 2016
Playa de Ses Illetes, Formentera, Europe's best beach. Photo:Photo: Ismail Mia/Flickr

Spain has five beaches in Europe's top ten. The Local gives you a tour.

Brexit
Spanish 'Laughing Man' is back in hilarious Brexit spoof
Screen grab: Armando Ferreira/YouTube.

Spain's Giggler is back and this time he's laughing about Brexit.

Brexit
Why Spain plays a crucial role in whether UK stays together
Photo: AFP

William McDougall, Lecturer in Politics at Glasgow Caledonian University explains why the UK's future may well depend on Spain.

Stalker held in Spain for death threats to Stephen Hawking

Police arrested a 41-year-old American woman who had threatened to kill the scientist as he attended a conference in Tenerife this week.

Spanish exodus at highest level since crisis began
Photo: tomy pelluz/Flickr

Record numbers of Spaniards left the country in 2015 and their favourite destination was the UK.

Brothers arrested in Spain for promoting Islamic State
The men used social media to promote Isis. Photo: AFP

Three brothers have been arrested in Catalonia on suspicion of promoting terrorism.

Del Bosque quits as Spain coach after poor Euro 2016
Spain coach Vicente del Bosque announced he is quitting. Photo: AFP

Vicente del Bosque said on Thursday that he has resigned as coach of Spain, just days after the reigning champions crashed out of Euro 2016.

Spain's Rajoy starts talks to form government after vote
Photo: AFP

Spain's acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy began talks on Thursday with other political parties to try to form a government.

First Lady 'proud' US might just elect a female president
Michelle Obama speaking in Madrid on Thursday. Photo: AFP

Michelle Obama said she was "proud" that a woman might be elected president of the United States this year, during a speech in Madrid.

What's on in Spain: July 2016
Red bandanas - a symbol of the San Fermin Festival. Photo: Oakland Native/Flickr.

From Pamplona's thrilling bull runs to Europe's biggest gay pride festival, there's no shortage of exciting events across Spain this summer.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Features
Seven burning questions for British expats about Brexit
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Technology
Six free apps to simplify your summer in Spain
Six important things we learnt from Spain's repeat elections
Politics
Rajoy claims right to form government after poll win
Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
International
Brexit limbo: What happens next for expat Brits in Spain?
Politics
Spanish elections: What are the possible outcomes?
International
Worried after Brexit? Here’s how to become Spanish
Politics
Why Spain is heading for a Groundhog day election
International
Brit expats in Spain stunned and fearful after Brexit win
Travel
The intern's guide to surviving a summer in Spain
National
The weird and wonderful ways Spain celebrates midsummer
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
Get your kit off! Spain's ten best nudist beaches
International
Spain REALLY wants Britain to stay in EU and here's why
National
Don't jump! Officials in Spain warn against 'balconing' craze
National
Girl's best friend: Four-year-old finds comfort with a bull
Politics
Hilarious video pokes fun at expats in Spain over Brexit
National
Top ten tricks to survive the Spanish summer
National
Spain knocked off top spot for world's best restaurant
International
Meet the Spaniard working as North Korea's secret weapon
National
Sheep invade Spanish city after shepherd takes a snooze
Features
Five brilliant ways to beat the crowds in Barcelona
National
Experts warn of jellyfish boom across Spain's beaches
Politics
Are these the weirdest political campaign ads ever?
3,393
jobs available