By Duncan Mackay

Rome team_present_bid_to_bid_figures_to_PM_Monti_January_12_2012January 12 - Rome's bid to host the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics would cost the Italian Government practically nothing and help relaunch its troubled economy by boosting the country's GDP by 1.4 per cent, officials claimed today. 

But they must still wait to find out whether Italy's new Prime Minister Mario Monti will back the campaign to bring the Summer Games back to Italy for the first time since 1960. 

Sports Minister Piero Gnudi warned that Monti's Government, which has been slashing spending to reduce national debt, was non-committal about guaranteeing funds for the Games.

Officials backing the bid claimed in the Rome 2020 Economic Impact Study presented to Monti that if the Italian capital hosted the Games it would cost the city €8.2 billion (£6.8 billion/$10.5 billion) but the country's economy would stand to grow by €17.7 billion (£14.8 billion/$22.7 billion) in the period 2012 to 2025. 

The feasability report also predicted that the Olympics would create 29,000 jobs in 2020 and 12,000 jobs in the run-up to the Games as well as helping attract 1.4 million tourists to Italy.

The growth - which officials claim would benefit the whole of Italy and not just Rome - would compenstate for the Government's €4.7 billion (£3.9 billion/$6.1 billion) investment into the Games.

Plus hosting the Olympics would generate an increase tax revenue for the country of €4.6 billion (£3.8 billion/$5.9 billion).

CONI, the Italian Olympic Committee, are hopeful that the Government will back their bid despite the austerity measures facing the country. 

"We believe it is in our DNA to make the Olympics and not just participate in them," said Gianni Petrucci, the President of CONI. 

"We have received positive answers, although the Premier cannot provide a final opinion yet.

"I am optimistic regards to the Government's opinion since there is nothing better than the Olympics to relaunch the economy." .

A bid from Rome would need would need approval from both houses of the Parlamento Italiano, the Chamber of Deputies, which is the lower house, and the Senate of the Republic, the upper house.

If the bid passes that hurdle then Monti will give it the final seal of approval before Rome submits its Applicant City file to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Lausanne on February 15. 

Gnudi, who has already held meetings with Monti about the bid, has admitted that a successful bid would be a "dream" but also claimed that investing in the Games would be "onerous" because of the economic crisis facing Italy.

The feasbility report was carried out by a committee chaired by Marco Fortis, an economist who lectures at the Università Cattolica.

Among his other findings was that the Games would generate revenues of €3.5 billion (£2.9 billion/$4.5 billion) from sponsors and television rights, ticket sales, local sponsors and lotteries and income from flats that would be built as part of the Olympic Village and sold to the public afterwards.

Mario Pescante_and_Rome_bid_in_Italian_Parliament
The delegation that visited Monti to try to persuade him to back the Olympic included Mario Pescante (pictured above second right), the vice-president of the IOC and chairman of Rome's bid, honorary bid President Gianni Letta, and Gianni Alemanno, the city's Mayor.

They were supported by Pescante's fellow IOC member Franco Carraro, who was the head of the Organising Committee when Italy successful staged the 1990 FIFA World Cup, and Raffaele Pagnozzi, the secretary general of the European Olympic Committees.

One Italian bookmaker has already declared Rome is the favourite but it faces strong opposition from a field that also includes Baku, Doha, Istanbul, Madrid and Tokyo.

"It is important to participate, but we are shooting to win," said Pescante.

"This is a team sport and Rome has the total 'Italian Team' united behind it.

"This is already an extraordinary first objective.

"The '60 Games were an Olympiad of concrete growth and dramatic rebirth for Italy.

"They served to give us a wakeup call, trust and credibility.

"Today we propose a plan of investments and growth."

In addition to the economic report, Monti was also presented with research from the Istituto per gli Studi sulla Pubblica Opinione (ISPO) that claimed 86 per cent of citizens of Lazio, the administration in the central peninsular, backed the bid, 77  per cent of Romans and 74 per cent of Italians. 

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

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