Italian PM Axes Rome Olympics Bid

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Italy's Prime Minister cancels Rome's application for the Olympic Games in 2020 claiming the country's serious financial straits. The application should have been at the International Olympic committee on Wednesday. Our correspondent has more.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti cancels Rome's Olympic application at the last minute.

The mayor of Rome and the Italian Olympic committee pushed for Rome to run for the Olympic Games in 2020.

But for Monti, it was too risky with the European economy in crisis.

Monti addressed his concerns at a press conference.

He said that the government is reluctant to take on a financial engagement that can jeopardize Italy in an unpredictable way for the coming years.

The application was due to be delivered to the Olympic committee in Switzerland on Wednesday and the decision to cancel Rome's application was announced at the last moment.

Four-time Olympic sprinter, former MP and author Pietro Mennea says he has the Olympic spirit but thinks the decision to pass on bidding to host the Olympics in 2020 is wise.

[Pietro Mennea, Olympic Gold Medalist]:
"The country has very difficult economic problems. It is one of the most indebted countries in the world. Since 1896 to the Olympics in China there's been recession and a decrease of currency values."

The Italian Olympic Committee presented the cost of 8.2 billion euro but Mennea doesn't believe it.

[Pietro Mennea, Olympic Gold Medalist]:
"They showed numbers that the gardener or the house lady could have come up with. They could have done it better."

According to Italian News Agency Ansa, the mayor of Rome says that he acknowledges the government's decision not to support Rome's candidacy for the 2020 Olympic Games.