Despite being stuck in a deep recession, unemployment soaring and the nation’s economy set to contract by up to 3.8%, the Greek government has pushed ahead with plans to build a Formula One race track.
According to Bloomberg, the Greek government has unblocked a subsidy of 28.9 million Euros for the construction of the new circuit which will be suitable for hosting international motor sports and the big one of Formula One. The track is set to be built in Xalandrista close to the port city of Patras and is expected to cost €100 million to build.
Greek Deputy Development minister Notis Mitarakis also unblocked funds worth €44.4 million for two other large scale projects including the construction of a glass-pane manufacturing factory in the north of the country and the modernising and expansion of facilities at the luxury Elounda Bay palace hotel in Crete. The three projects are expected to generate 800 jobs but at such a cost the price will far outway the benfits.
Other nations with little connection to Formula One have built tracks in a bid to boost their international reputation including Bahrain, China and Singapore. The key difference between those countries and Greece however, is that they had a tonne of cash available to spend on their race tracks, whereas Greece is struggling to feed and medicate its people.
Such a move is a sign that the current government has become increasingly delusional and has truly no idea in how to fix the nation’s problems. The Greeks will have to pay not only for the circuit but will also have to stump up millions if it is to pay Bernie Eccleston the head of Formula One for the right to host a grand prix. Race tracks in wealthy nations have struggled to afford the rights including Germany’s legendary Nurburgring. Additionally a minimum quantity of tickets will have to be sold. Otherwise the organizer will have to pay compensation. And additionally some minimum concomitant business in the area will be needed to answer the Bernie’s requirements.
At a time when Prime Minister Antonis Smaras is targeting pensions, benefits and pay, it will be no surprise that public anger will arise from this announcement. The Greeks can hardly find a more absurd way of spending its limited amounts of cash
The Pound to Euro exchange rate is currently trading at 1.2512
The Pound to US Dollar exchange rate is currently trading at 1.6149
The Pound to Australian Dollar exchange rate is currently trading at 1.5676
The Euro to US Dollar exchange rate is currently trading at 1.2906
The Euro to Pound exchange rate is currently trading at 0.7992
The Exchange rates are provided by TorFX a leading foreign exchange broker, offering excellent exchange rates for all your currency needs.