Voters say no to Munich's Winter Olympics bid

Berlin, Nov 11 (IANS) Munich is out of the 2022 Winter Olympics bid after Bavarian voters gave a thumbs down to plans of the German city hosting the mega sporting event.

Early results from Sunday's ballot gave the opponents of the Olympics a majority, reports Xinhua.

Olympic planners needed to have a majority yes vote in all four communities that went to the polls and which were planned as the hubs of the games, including the Bavarian capital Munich itself and Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the planned site for the glamorous Alpine events.

"The vote is not a signal against the sport, but against the non-transparency and the greed for profit of the IOC (International Olympic Committee)," said Ludwig Hartmann, a Greens Party lawmaker and a leader of the NOlympia movement that led the campaign against the bid.

"I think all possible Olympic bids in Germany are now out of question. The IOC has to change first. It's not the venues that have to adapt to the IOC, but the other way around," Hartmann said.

Opponents of the Olympics won a majority in all four communities, meaning the Olympic project won't go ahead. Leading sports figures have been campaigning strongly for the bid but the project failed to get the approval of taxpayers.

A total of 1.3 million people, one million alone in Munich, were eligible to vote in the ballot. Opponents of the Olympics were concerned about environmental issues and high costs.

Oslo, the Norwegian capital, has announced its bid, along with Lviv, Ukraine; Beijing, China; Almaty, Kazakhstan; and a joint bid from Krakow, Poland, and Jasna, Slovakia. Stockholm will decide next week whether to enter the race.

Thursday is the deadline for submission of bids to the IOC. The IOC will select the 2022 host city in 2015.

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