The Italian government is warning the financial crisis could be a stumbling block in Rome's bid for the 2020 Summer Olympics.
Italy's spiraling debt costs have added another challenge to the economic woes of the country, which is mired in a recession.
"The dream of a sports minister is to bring the Olympics to his country, allowing everyone to pull together for a purpose," Tourism and Sports Minister Piero Gnudi said Thursday. "That said, the financial commitment is very heavy, above all in this moment."
A $42.7 million bid budget was approved by a Rome bid committee in November.
However, Premier Mario Monti's new government, which has been slashing spending to reduce national debt, was noncommittal about guaranteeing funds for the games.
On Thursday, bid promoters gave Monti a report predicting the Olympics would create 29,000 jobs in 2020 and 12,000 jobs in the run-up to the games.
Mayor Gianni Alemanno claims there is only an upside to the games.
"There is no risk to the adventure," Alemanno said at a news conference to highlight the report. He called it a "great opportunity at almost zero cost."
The International Olympic Committee requires bid cities to provide government financial guarantees for the games. For 2020, the cities must submit their detailed bid files to the IOC by Feb. 15. The IOC executive board will decide in May whether to reduce the list of candidates.
Rome is among six cities bidding for the 2020 Games along with Baku, Azerbaijan; Doha, Qatar; Istanbul; Madrid; and Tokyo.
"There is enthusiasm, but there are financial problems," Gnudi said. "The government will have to take this into account, it cannot make mistakes."
The $12.5 billion in spending to prepare Rome for the games would include $2 billion to expand the main airport, the report said. But considering the expected revenue from sponsors, media rights, ticket sales and other factors, the public spending costs would be estimated at $5.8 billion, according to the report.
The promoters insisted that investment would be nearly covered by expected increased tax revenues on a bigger GDP.
The IOC will select the host city by secret ballot in Buenos Aires in September 2013.
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