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Cost and Benefits of European Olympic Games in Azerbaijan Republic

Monday 8 June 2015
Cost and Benefits of European Olympic Games in Azerbaijan Republic
Alwaght-The first Baku 2015 European Olympic Games is scheduled to be held in Baku, Azerbaijan, from 12 to 28 June 2015. To hold world-class spectacle competitions, Azerbaijan has invested large funds on construction of sport facilities and improvement of urban infrastructure.  
Azerbaijan Republic intends to display a modern image of the country to Europe and the world. Azad Rahimov, Minister of Youth and Sport of Azerbaijan, states: "Certainly, this is very important event for a young country like ours that only twenty-one years have passed since its independence. This is very important if we wish to have a place on the world map and, as is true, to be a part of Europe. We welcome Europe to Azerbaijan."
However, to hold the first round of European Olympic Games in Azerbaijan is not just attributable to the initiative of Azerbaijan's government. Experts familiar with developments of Azerbaijan believe that it has to do with sport business of the United States and Europe and the exploitation of other countries. In 2003, it was speculated that the United States and Europe are trying to make a ‘balanced development’ in the South Caucasus region. This means that development of each of the three countries of the region should be coordinated with one another. If all the revenues of Azerbaijan from the oil sale are effectively used in the economy, then gradually the Republic of Azerbaijan will dramatically outpace Georgia and Armenia. For this reason, they are making attempts to take out the money that comes into Azerbaijan. The above mentioned initiative, has aimed at the growth of corruption in Azerbaijan, democracy in Georgia, and educational development in Armenia to allegedly maintain a balanced development in the South Caucasus. Accordingly, to hold pointless festivals and projects, not having economic justification, including Eurovision, European Olympic Games and unnecessary constructions, were put on the agenda to squander the Azerbaijan’s funds, a process that still continues.
With such a rationale, more than $ 10 million was spent on ‘Flower Festival’, and annually 4 to 5 billion dollars are spent on unnecessary constructions. Meanwhile, in line with ‘balanced development of the Caucasus’, the government does not make adequate investment in manufacturing, and shows disregard to building factories and improving health service and education.
In all these cases, the interests of the US and Europe are in line with the interests of Azerbaijan state authorities, as Azerbaijan's officials also call for spending large amounts of money on pointless projects, since they get their share of the money. In all projects, 45 to 50 percent of the total costs are paid to senior officials. However, more than half of this amount is spent by the same officials. As a result, a ‘pyramid of corruption’ is built. This way, 2 to 2.5 billion dollars are squandered each year.
European Olympic Games is one of the most significant and largest projects of this type. According to official statistics, almost $ 4 billion have been spent just to hold the European Olympic Games. Construction and completion of infrastructure, the costs of organizing the competitions and providing accommodation for the players are parts of the huge expenses. Up to $ 3 billion were spent just for construction of buildings.
It is a false claim that the European Olympic Games is to Azerbaijan’s benefits. Even 25 to 30 thousand tourists are hardly expected to head for Azerbaijan during the games. On the other hand, the current hotels in Azerbaijan can provide accommodation for just 25 to 30 thousand tourists; therefore, it is not possible to accommodate more tourists. In fact, if all the hotels and facilities are prepared before the games begin, then at most, 25000 tourists will be present in competitions.  Besides, each tourist, on average is not expected to spend more than $ 3,000. Thus, the total currency that tourists will bring into the country will not exceed 90 to 100 million dollars.
It seems that as the European Olympic Games ends, problems and deficiencies in the country’s economy will emerge. As the decline in oil prices will endanger the value of the national currency. The value of manta, Azerbaijan currency, is very likely to drop after the European Olympic Games. Furthermore, as the national budget was used for holding the European games, the country will be facing a severe budget deficit.

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