Olympics

$1 Billion For The Olympics? Sure, Says France’s Prime Minister

Manuel Valls has in fact committed to spending even more than that should France's Olympic bid win out

Olympics
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls — AFP/Getty Images
Oct 07, 2016 at 4:53 PM ET

Now that Rome has told the 2024 Olympics that its presence is not welcome, here comes Paris, thirsty to dump all its euros into the hands of the rich and powerful; one billion euros ($1,117,345,000) to be precise.

“The State will bring two thirds of the necessary public funds, that is one billion euros, to finance equipment, long term construction which will be useful to the population,” French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Friday after submitting a financial package outlining why Paris and not Budapest or Los Angeles, should allow itself to be raked over the coals. (Oddly enough, the International Olympic Committee seems to think Rome is still in the running, despite all evidence to the contrary.)

In the event that the IOC does choose Paris to be its best friend forever, Valls added that France would spend one billion euros ($1,117,345,000) “between 2018 and 2024.” The total of three billion Euros ($3,352,320,000) they’re set to fork over is just to cover the infrastructure costs; they’re also ready to spend an additional 3.2 billion euros ($3,575,808,000) on operational costs. And those robust figures assume that they don’t go $1.6 billion over budget or spend $30 billion on the finest, shiniest robots money can buy, as Tokyo is planning.

Valls is also sure that this time, no, really, it’s totally going to happen this time, that a poor community, Seine-Saint-Denis, will reap the economic rewards promised by the Olympics. Yup, this time the public will not be subject to forced removal, a crackdown on protests, and accompanying rise in state-sponsored violence, while taxpayer funds are funneled toward the richest parts of town.

In addition to caping for the Olympics, Valls, ostensibly a member of the Parti Socialistie (the Socialist Party), has views that tend to skew rightward. He told the BBC that accepting refugees from Iraq and Syria would lead to Europe becoming “totally destabilized.

“If Europe is not capable of protecting its own borders, it’s the very idea of Europe that will be questioned.”

He wrote a blog advocating for a “pact” of some sort between French Muslims and the rest of the country, said that the burkini enslaves women and “is not compatible with the values of France and the Republic,” tried to stop supermarkets from selling halal food because it would be “divisive,” and has compared his political style to that of Bill Clinton and Tony Blair, particularly when it comes to advocating for “individual responsibility.”

Okay then. That’s why he’s so gung ho to bring the Olympics to Paris.