As Olympic fervor builds in Paris, there is one thing President Emmanuel Macron’s government is particularly proud of: how little money they plan to spend.
(Bloomberg) — As Olympic fervor builds in Paris, there is one thing President Emmanuel Macron’s government is particularly proud of: how little money they plan to spend.
At an event to promote the role of the finance ministry in the games, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said the state will be on the hook for only around a quarter of the cost of hosting the 2 1/2-week event. The rest will come from the private sector — a low-cost approach he said should be a model for other projects.
“This Olympic Games must be the most economical in decades for public money,” Le Maire said, before changing out of his suit into running clothes to join a race around the ministry. “This is exactly what will need to be done with other investments in the future: mobilize private money and only use public funds as a lever.”
The 2024 summer Olympics will coincide with French government attempts to rein in public spending after running gaping deficits during the Covid pandemic and the energy crisis. Last month, Le Maire unveiled plans for €16 billion ($16.8 billion) of savings next year, principally by pulling back energy support for households.
The French state’s contribution to the Olympic Games will total €1.3 billion, mainly in outlays to improve infrastructure via SOLIDEO, the company that’s building venues and accommodation. It has a total budget of around €3.7 billion.
The organizing committee’s budget of €4.4 billion will by 96% financed by the private sector.
Even with relatively little public money, Le Maire said the government still expects significant economic windfalls. According to finance ministry documents, those will come mainly from tourism — some 16 million visitors are expected throughout the games, including domestic travelers — the transformation of Olympic accommodation into housing, and cleaning and security services.
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Still, there is no exact estimate and it make take two to three years to assess the full benefits of hosting the games, a finance ministry official said.
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