The President of the International Olympic Committee, Lord Killanin, says preparations for the 1980 Olympic Games are more advanced than those at the same period before the Montreal Games in 1976.
The President of the International Olympic Committee, Lord Killanin, says preparations for the 1980 Olympic Games are more advanced than those at the same period before the Montreal Games in 1976. Lord Killanin was speaking to newsmen in Moscow after meeting with Soviet Prime Minister Alexei Kosygin and other officials. He said Prime Minister Kosygin had shown himself "very conscious of the benefits the games can have" for his country. Meanwhile work continues on multi-million dollar projects that eventually will accommodate the world's best athletes. However, progress has not been smooth.
SYNOPSIS: The Olympic village is being built in a southern area of Moscow. Part of its huge cost has arisen from a need to import technology, particularly in consumer fields. According to American observers it reflects on official determination that athletes and tourists will be treated in the manner to which they are accustomed.
Lord Killanin's visit was part of a world tour and he came to Moscow amid Soviet reports that the city's ambitious construction programme was being slowed down because of labour shortages and bureaucratic delays.
One newspaper, Komsomolskaya Pravda, has gone further claiming that in some places work is way behind schedule. It says it sent a reporter to the Lenin Stadium where he found workers sitting around playing dominoes.
Elsewhere there are plans to build or reconstruct about 20 arenas in Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev and Minsk. The total budget is estimated to be 230 million US dollars
Most complaints have not been directed at the workers themselves. Instead they point to bureaucratic bungling. Komsomolskaya Pravda quotes the director of construction at Lenin stadium as saying he was waiting for building plans but a Soviet Olympics official in charge of projects told the newspapers the plans were delivered on time. However Lord Killanin says he is satisfied with progress and that Prime Minister Kosygin had "confirmed all the undertakings made when Moscow was given the games."