New Greek government commits to the Olympic Games

The new conservative Prime Minister of Greece Kostas Karamanlis, who ousted the governing socialists on Sunday's General Election, is committing his government to efficiently completing the work required for this year's Olympic games. This report from Malcom Brabant:

The news

New Democracy's celebrations are over already under instruction from the new Prime Minister. Kostas Karamanlis is promising to get down to work immediately. He says his administration will be diligent, humble, yet daring and efficient. The party's priorities are to create more jobs, tackle unemployment and to reform agriculture.
Greece's new leader has made a commitment that this summer's Olympic Games will be the best and safest ever and in that respect he's singing from the same hymn sheet as the outgoing Socialist government. Preparations for the games have been shambolic and there are several major projects which are way behind schedule such as the construction of the roof of the main stadium and the development of the marathon route.

Privately members of the International Olympic Committee are afraid that Greece's promises will not be fulfilled. The construction programme is past the point of no return and Olympic officials seem to have no alternative but to trust that the Greek habit of meeting deadlines at the last gasp will come good in the end.

Malcolm Brabant, Athens.

the words

to get down to work=to start work enthusiastically

diligent=to work hard and carefully

humble=of low status


efficient=successful in a short period of time

priorities=most important tasks

singing from the same hymn sheet=sharing the views or ambitions of another

shambolic=very unorganised

past the point of no return =irreversibly committed

at the last gasp =at the final moment