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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 March 2005, 18:48 GMT
The mood in Paris
Stade de France

The International Olympic Committee's inspection team have descended on Paris on the latest stop of potential Olympic cities planning to host the Games in 2012.

Le Figaro's Jean Christophe Papillon assesses whether Parisians are showing their love for the Games.


What's the feeling in Paris about its chances?

The feeling in Paris is a positive one and French people would be in favour of hosting and quite proud to organise the Games in 2012.

The social and political context of the Games are understood by most people.

The slogan for the Games is L'amour des Jeux (Love of the Games) but perhaps love is a bit too strong to describe the feeling in the city, I would say 'desire' is more appropriate.

We'll save the love until after we get it!

Is the Paris bid team comfortable with being favourite?

No. They've been trying to battle with that opinion which is circulating around.

They know that their bid, along with Madrid's, is the favourite notably ahead of the London and New York bid.

Are Parisians backing the bid? What about the rest of France?

You never know with Parisians! 2012 is a long way away for the man on the street.

At the same time there is a big feeling of pride and that it will permit development for certain area of Paris that need it.

For once, and it's very rare in France, there is a true unity

For example, the site where the Olympic Village will be is an industrial wasteland now.

The rest of France has a good opinion of the bid too. A recent survey said that 85% of the population were for the Games.

They understand that Paris getting the Olympics will benefit the rest of the country.

For example the football will happen in Lyon, Lens and Marseille so that keeps the interest in those cities.

What are the strengths of the Paris bid?

Many of the sites for the Olympics already exist and they will be compacted mainly in the north and west of the city with the Olympic Village between the two. Plus the transport in the city functions well.

Philippe Baudillon
Paris bid leader Philippe Baudillon: 'A dossier man'

The organisation of the 1998 World Cup went really well. There was a little problem with hooligans but by and large it went well.

And for once, and it's very rare in France, there is a true unity for the Games.

There are no big, big weaknesses.

Will trade union plans for strikes or protests damage the bid?

Yes. The planned strike is for Thursday and that will cause transport problems across the city.

It could have a negative influence on the IOC party if they have a really bad Thursday but that's how it is in France.

There are lots of strikes.

What's the profile of Paris' bid leader Phillipe Baudillon?

He's doing a good job. He's very discreet, very professional and very serious. He's not very good with the media but he's doing well.

He's not very funny but he has the air of someone who knows his subject. You can't compare him to someone like Sebastian Coe who's an Olympic champion.

He's a technocrat - a dossier man you could say!

What plans does Paris have for the inspectors?

There aren't any big spectacles or big events. There are lunches with various public figures but it's quite serious overall.



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