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The Warsaw Voice » Other » September 3, 2008
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Sports and Tourism Minister Mirosław Drzewiecki:
September 3, 2008   
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The preparation of a large world-class sporting event is a difficult and exacting task. Every organizer wants championships held in his country to be exceptional, unique and the best to date. We have taken on a huge project that must be completed on time. Thus it is invaluable to us to be able to take advantage of the experience of countries that have met such challenges already.

Officials from PL2012, the company that is responsible for the supervision and coordination of preparations for the UEFA Euro 2012 soccer championships, traveled to Austria and Switzerland this year to watch sporting event organization and will also do so in Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Portugal. We have a particular affinity with the Portuguese since Portugal's economic situation is not dissimilar to that in Poland today. The Portuguese had the same doubts with Euro 2004 that now plague the Poles as to whether there is any sense in organizing such an expensive soccer tournament in a country that lacks funds for its health service and education and which does not have modern roads and sports centers. I believe, like the Portuguese, we will quickly forget the doubts. We will be proud that we prepared an excellent tournament, that Poland is recognizable all over the world, that the championships had measurable advantages for businesses, above all in the building, tourism, food-service and transport sectors, as well as the media and advertising.

Euro 2012 for Poland and Ukraine, like Euro 2004 for Portugal, is an economic catalyst that will mobilize us to take up challenges that sooner or later we would have had to meet anyway.

The event will last several weeks, but investment projects started in the next few years will serve for a very long time. I do not have the least doubt that we will take advantage of this unique opportunity and that the successful completion of the organization of the European soccer championships, the first such large sporting event in this region, is but a beginning. Poles in a combined effort are capable of carrying the organizational load and will thus build and strengthen their position in Europe.
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