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Last Updated: Friday, 1 July, 2005, 11:13 GMT 12:13 UK
The mood in Paris
Paris recently transformed the Champs Elysees into a giant running track to promote its bid

The International Olympic Committee will vote on Wednesday to decide whether London, Paris, Madrid, New York or Moscow will host the Games in 2012.

As the countdown to the big day continues, we will be getting an insider's view from each bidding city.

Here, Le Figaro's Jean Christophe Papillon assesses the mood in the French capital.


What's the feeling in Paris about its chances?

There is a lot of confidence but also a lot of modesty, which is not always true of the French.

There is a real belief, though, that Paris has presented a very strong candidate file.

Has the evaluation report boosted Paris' chances of victory?

The report has given French people confidence that the bid team has been doing a good job.

I don't think it has necessarily improved Paris' chances, but it has confirmed that it is very well placed, with London up there too.

I cannot see there being the will to go for it again if Paris loses this time
There were a few ifs and buts in London's report which gave the impression that Paris was perhaps ahead.

The evaluation also showed that a couple of the bids, New York and Moscow, have lost ground.

Madrid seems to have slipped a bit too, but it could still spring a surprise.

When you talk to people close to the bid, most of them feel it will be Paris against London in the final round, and that it is likely to be very close.

What factors will influence the vote in Singapore?

Political factors and long-standing alliances could come into play, of course, but when there are more than a hundred voters, it is very difficult to know what is going on in their heads.

I'm not convinced that the cities' final presentations will have a huge effect on the outcome, but they could sway a few undecided votes.

Who will be in the Paris delegation for Singapore?

It will be a big team, with probably about 200 people.

There will be plenty of sporting stars, like the France and San Antonio Spurs basketball player Tony Parker.

We don't know yet if Zinedine Zidane will be there, but there are sure to be a lot of Olympic athletes too.

Will the presence of President Jacques Chirac help Paris?

We are not going through a good political period and, with the tension between France and the UK at the moment, I'm not sure whether it will be a good thing or not.

It is legitimate for him to be there, as he is the representative of the French government, but it will depend how his presence manifests itself.

I hope he will not be too visible. If he tries to take over the bid at the last moment, it might not make a good impression.

How do you think the final vote will go?

It seems likely Moscow will go out in the first round.

New York is a bit of an unknown quantity, but problems with its stadium plans mean it has had to paper over the cracks at the last minute.

It's very tough to call, but I think it will be a Paris-London final, and then we will see.

Do you think Paris will bid again if it loses this time?

No. I cannot see there being the will to go for it again. I think a line would be drawn under the French candidacy.

The Games would probably go back to North America after 2012 anyway, or even to South America.





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