November 7, 2014 / 12:17 PM / in 3 years

Olympics: Hold your horses, Paris mayor tells Hollande on 2024 bid

PARIS (Reuters) - Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo has asked French president Francois Hollande not to jump the gun as the capital considers whether to bid for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games.

Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo speaks during a news conference at Paris city hall, November 7, 2014. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

“Nothing, nobody will have me change the agenda or the method as far as a Paris bid is concerned,” Hidalgo, who like Hollande is a member of the Socialist Party, told a news conference on Friday.

Hidalgo’s remarks come a day after Hollande said he was “in favor of the city of Paris presenting its candidacy, if it decides to do so.”

The mayor said she had heard Hollande’s comments only in the morning because she was on a plane on Thursday night, suggesting she had not been briefed by the president’s Elysee staff.

On Tuesday, French National Olympic Committee (CNOSF) president Denis Masseglia said there were “strong possibilities” that the CNOSF would want to enter the race.

The CNOSF will announce in January if it wants to bid for the 2024 Games after the French Committee for International Sport (CFSI) publishes a study into the possibility of a bid.

Hidalgo said she was merely asking Hollande to respect that agenda.

“I‘m asking for the respect of the ongoing collective work,” she explained, reminding everyone that no decision should be made before next year.

“I‘m also asking for the respect of the Parisians.”

THREE CONDITIONS

Hidalgo added that a Paris bid would depend on three conditions -- she is asking for transparency from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on “how the bids are being considered” but also wants the bid to be solid from an economic point of view and environmentally sustainable.

IOC president Thomas Bach promised to overhaul the bidding process for the Games as part of reforms to be voted on in a meeting in December and Hidalgo said France should at least wait for them to be adopted before applying to host the Games.

She also stressed that Paris should be well prepared if it were to bid for the Games after losing out three times.

“Paris was a candidate for 1992 and it lost to Barcelona, Paris was a candidate for 2008 and it lost to Beijing, Paris was a candidate for 2012 and London got the Games,” she said.

“I do not want the dream to get crushed by reality once again.”

France last hosted the Summer Olympics in Paris in 1924 and the Winter Olympics in Albertville in 1992.

Germany has announced that it will bid for the 2024 Games through Berlin or Hamburg.

A string of potential hosts, including a U.S. city, Istanbul, Rome, Doha and a city from Africa, are also considering bids.

The 2016 Summer Games will be held in Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo will stage the 2020 Olympics.

Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Ken Ferris

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