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MARKETPLACE:  Auto | Jobs | Personals | Yellow Pages  September 29, 2004
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Athens is ready for start of Summer Games
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ATHENS, Greece The Athens Olympics open this week and organizers say the city is ready.

Olympics officials point proudly to the impressive main stadium, the deep-blue swimming complex -- and other gleaming facilities that have sprouted in the city.

Much was left undone in the frantic Athenian race to the finish. Plans were changed, landscaping was cut back and the roof was left off the swimming pool.

Still, what many critics considered impossible last year has suddenly become reality. Venues are mainly finished, roads are open, trains and subways are running.

Three years ago, a prophetic Greek president said: "We will manage the Greek way _ at the last minute."

Some analysts predict the final cost for the games could soar to 12 and a-half (b) billion dollars. A record one-and-a-half (b) billion is being spent on security alone.

Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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