An online petition has been launched in a bid to hold a referendum on the Paris bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The petition entitled “Appeal for a referendum on Paris’s bid for 2024” has so far received 5,057 signatures after a week online.
This comes as Budapest Government officials withdrew the city’s bid for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games on Wednesday (February 22) following a similar petition gathered 266,151 signatures.
“We citizens do not accept that the candidature of Paris to the Olympic Games 2024 was taken without us,” the petition reads.
“The Olympic Games misappropriate the money that could be used for more useful projects.
“If we want to invest in public facilities, housing, transport infrastructure, we can do it without the Olympics.”
Danielle Simonnet, a Paris councilor of the 20th arrondissement was quoted as saying by Le Monde that she fully supports a referendum.
“We are in the same situation as Brazil with the 2014 World Cup,” said Simonnet.
“The Brazilians were delighted at first to welcome it because they are football fans, then, when they became aware of the consequences in terms of austerity, they massively opposed it.
“This will be the same in France.
“Of course, we need a referendum.
“Knowing more about event choices should be part of a democratic debate within the population and a decision should be made through a referendum.
“This is what I have defended each time at the Council of Paris.”
Opposition had been mounting against the Budapest bid with campaign group Momentum Mozgalom officially submitting forms the signatures to the city’s Election Committee seeking a referendum on whether it should continue.
Opponents had claimed the money would be better spent on education, healthcare, housing, living standards and transport.
Paris 2024 appear to be unfazed by the petition, however, and claim their bid was built on “excellent public support.”
“Paris 2024’s bid is moving forward very well and we are totally focused on the remaining months of the campaign to win the 2024 Games,” said a Paris 2024 spokesperson.
“Our project was built from public consultations which reflects the excellent public support within Paris and across France, particularly among young people.
“We also have complete political unity behind the bid at every level of government.”
Only Los Angeles and Paris remain in a two-horse race for the Games ahead of the scheduled vote in the Peruvian capital of Lima on September 13.
By Max Winters
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.