By Nick Butler

Paulina Guzik has stepped down as the press and public relations manager of Kraków 2022 after only two months in the role ©WikipediaMarch 28 - A bad week for Kraków 2022 has ended with another blow with press and public relations manager Paulina Guzik stepping down after barely two months in her post.

In a statement this morning, Guzik announced she was leaving her position but staying in Kraków to continue her university duties as a journalist fellow, as well as running a publishing company and a personal blog.

This follows the announcement earlier in the week that a referendum will be held in Kraków over whether the Winter Olympic and Paralympic bid will go ahead. 

There is no evidence the departure of Guzik, who only took up the position earlier this year shortly before the Winter Olympics in Sochi, is linked to this decision.

But it nevertheless rounds off a bad week for the bid as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) begin to make their choices over which cities it will put forward for candidate status, following the submission of Applicant Files earlier this month.

The Krakow 2022 delegation presenting their Applicant Files to the IOC earlier this month ©Kraków 2022The Krakow 2022 delegation presenting their Applicant Files to the IOC earlier in March ©Kraków 2022

The surprise decision by Kraków Mayor Jacek Majchrowski to hold a referendum has been criticised by figures from the Civic Platform Party, the senior coalition partner of the independent Mayor in the local Kraków authority.

This is on the grounds that they were not informed before the decision was announced and that the referendum puts proposed funding investments into jeopardy. 

Civic Platform MP Jozef Lassota told the Dziennik Polski newspaper how Majchrowski "has shown that he's not a supporter of the Games" through the decision. 

He added: "So why should the Government reserve money now for investments to accompany the Games?"

Fellow MP Ireneusz Ras meanwhile, said that with several events to be held outside the city,including over the Slovakian border in the Tatra Mountains, it should not be a decision purely made by the citizens of Krakow.

"The Games are a joint project," he said.

"It's not just the Mayor of Krakow involved, but the Polish and Slovakian Governments."

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk and Slovakian counterpart Robert Fico also reiterated their support for the Games yesterday at a meeting in the Slovak town of Poprad at the foot of the Tatra Mountains where Alpine skiing events would be held. 

Yet, in spite of positive opinion polls and these pledges, as well as as insistence of his own personal support, Majchrowski claimed that "in such an important matter, that's not enough, which is why I am calling on the City Council to hold a referendum." 

Prime Ministers Donald Tusk (left) and Robert Fico reiterated their support for Krakow 2022 at a joint summit yesterday ©AFP/Getty ImagesPrime Ministers Donald Tusk (left) and Robert Fico reiterated their support for Krakow 2022 at a joint summit yesterday ©AFP/Getty Images

It is thought the referendum itself will cost 1 million zloty (£198,000/$329,000/€240,000), with the Games themselves estimated to cost up to 6 billion zloty ($2 billion/£1.2 billion/€1.4 billion).

But despite positive opinion polls, there also remains the possibility of the bid failing to pass the city vote due to the history of failure associated with the vast majority of previous Olympic and Paralympic bid referendums.

Proposed bids from Munich and Davos/St Moritz failed such votes last year, while one in Oslo narrowly passed amid prevailing doubts over the extent of public support. 

Kraków is competing against Oslo, as well as Almaty, Beijing and Lviv in the 2022 race, with the IOC due to decide upon an unspecified number of Candidate Cities at an Executive Board meeting in July. 

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

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