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The Warsaw Voice » Other » December 19, 2007
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What They Said
December 19, 2007   
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Polish President Lech Kaczyński:
We have to stop saying that Poland cannot do this or that. We have Euro 2012 now, but let us not stop at that. Let us aim at hosting Olympic Games in the not-too-distant future, perhaps as soon as 2020, perhaps in 2024 or 2030. We can do it.

I am satisfied as a Polish citizen and as a soccer supporter, but this is also a political success for Poland and Ukraine. I believe the task should be made easier for investors who become involved in Euro 2012. We have to review the infrastructure plans, as they need to be strongly related to venues where the Euro 2012 matches will be played. Most of all, this concerns roads.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko:
This is a unique opportunity. The Euro 2012 European soccer championships in Ukraine and Poland will be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to show the unique Slavic hospitality and culture to millions of sports fans around the world.

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk:
I promise the Polish people that we will do a good job in organizing Euro 2012.

I want to assure you and give you my word that not only will the championships be held in Poland, but they will be well organized too. [...] The success of those who have organized events of this kind so far shows that well-prepared championships can translate into economic growth, raise the status and reputation of the host country, and improve the sense of national pride. I would like Euro 2012 to become a part of the promotional strategy of our country.

Polish Deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister Waldemar Pawlak-in a statement he made during a recent conference in Warsaw entitled Euro 2012: Opportunities and Barriers:
Euro 2012 will lend an impetus to the Polish economy and help promote Poland internationally. [...] Entrepreneurs working together with government officials can play a major role in efficiently organizing the event. Public-private partnerships are needed to carry out projects connected with the tournament faster and more efficiently. [...] Public-private partnerships are a way to finance projects and they enable a search for new business ideas.

Former Polish Prime Minister Jan Krzysztof Bielecki, now president of Bank Pekao SA and an avid soccer fan:
I am happy that the UEFA management had enough imagination to take a chance on two countries that may not have large sports venues yet, but have huge potential and good development prospects. Euro 2012 is bound to stimulate faster development of the economy and infrastructure, and it will contribute to the "Europeanization" of our two countries. Of course, it will all be only possible if we can make it on time and organize fantastic championships.

Michał Listkiewicz, president of the Polish soccer association PZPN and UEFA coordinator for Euro 2012-in a statement he made after returning from an April 18 ceremony in Cardiff, Wales, where Poland and Ukraine were officially selected to co-host Euro 2012:
This is the most important day in the history of Polish soccer. [Ukrainian soccer federation head Hryhoriy] Surkis told me [...] that we would win in the first round, but I did not believe him. I thought we were able to beat the Italians, but only in the second round. It turned out that Surkis was right again. I owe him a good champagne.

Hryhoriy Surkis, president of the Ukrainian Soccer Federation:
They have believed in us-that we are able to change everything. This has been the most important day in our history and from now on Poland and Ukraine will start huge transformations; they will no longer be the same countries they used to be.

Leo Beenhakker, the Dutch coach of the Polish national soccer team:
This is a great decision for Poland, not only when it comes to soccer, but also the future of the entire country. Poland has excellent soccer players and even for this reason alone, its victory is fully deserved. Poland and Ukraine won because they knew how to convince the UEFA that in five years they would be able to build what today is not there yet. I too believe they will make it. This is a fundamental decision for the future of Polish soccer.
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