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13-08-08, 00:21
'Olympics Are A Waste Of Money'

11:58am UK, Tuesday August 12, 2008
Alex Watts, Sky News reporter, in Beijing

Residents in China have criticised the massive amount Beijing is shelling out on staging the world's most expensive Olympic Games.

The very expensive opening ceremony for the Olympics has angered locals
The Communist regime has spent billions on lavish sports venues, the world's biggest airport terminal, and a huge security operation.
All this while sweatshop conditions are widespread and millions are still homeless after May's deadly earthquake in the region.
Of course, the official line is the country’s 1.3 billion people are delighted that the Games have arrived.
And the groundswell of pride and nationalist fervour in China is obvious.
But privately there is anger from some that the leadership continues to declare that running a successful Games is its "number one priority".
Speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals, some in the capital told Sky News the money would have been better spent on helping the country's poor.
A 21-year-old student, gazing out across the futuristic cityscape at the "Bird's Nest" centrepiece, said: "It's terrible the money they wasted.
"Millions of people live and work in terrible conditions, but the government doesn't think of them.
"They have spent our taxes on buildings – and who does it help? It does nothing for the people of this country."
A taxi driver, who has family in the impoverished Guizhou province, said: "It’s all for Beijing – but what about the rest of the country?
"What about those who lost their homes in the earthquake? What about the people who try to feed their families and send their children out to work?"
The estimated £20bn spent on the 29th Olympiad represents nearly £20 for every Chinese citizen – in a country where many survive on £1 a day.
But it is impossible to get an official figure for the amount spent – and all of the Government and Olympics departments contacted by Sky News were characteristically unavailable for comment.
A spokeswoman for the Beijing International Media Centre would only say: "We do not know the exact figure."

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