February 14 - Madrid have today delivered their Applicant City file for their bid to host the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics one day ahead of the deadline on tomorrow evening.
The four-person Madrid delegation that arrived at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) headquarters here was led by Alejandro Blanco (pictured second from right), the President of the Spanish Olympic Committee (COE) and head of the Madrid 2020 bid.
He was accompanied by the Madrid 2020 chief executive of international relations Theresa Zabell (pictured second from left), sports general director Raúl Chapado (left) and Manuel Cano from the national press department.
The submission includes financial guarantees from the country's Council of Ministers including the new Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.
Madrid are bidding to host the Summer Olympics for the fourth time, and the third time in succession, following unsuccessful bids for 1972, 2012 and 2016, which were awarded to Munich, London and Rio de Janeiro respectively.
"Madrid is applying to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games for the third consecutive time counting on the experience acquired in previous bids," said Blanco.
"Achieving the Games will represent a source of economic development that will boost the industrial and commercial activity."
The bid comes despite Spain being among the European countries worst affected by the current economic crisis.
The National Statistics Institute said 5.3 million people were out of work at the end of December, up from 4.9 million in the third quarter.
The rate rose from 21.5 per cent in the third quarter to 22.8 per cent – the highest rate in nearly 17 years.
Spain already has the highest jobless rate in the 17-nation eurozone and is expected to slide back into recession.
But, unlike Italy, which has so far refused to publicly back Rome's bid for the 2020 Games, the Spanish Government has thrown its support behind Madrid following a meeting with the bid team, which Madrid have made clear in their Applicant File.
In a statement, they said the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics "should be considered a statewide project, the Gobiernod [the Prime Minister] and Spain should embrace and support this project and with maximum determination."
Tokyo and Doha handed in their Applicant City file yesterday with Baku set to submit their Applicant City file this afternoon and Istanbul tomorrow morning on the day of the deadline.
The five cities could be joined by Rome if Italy's Prime Minister Mario Monti agrees to give the necessary Government guarantees in time.
The IOC is due to announce which cities have been shortlisted for Candidate City status at its Executive Board meeting in Quebec City on May 23.
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