October 5, 2018 / 2:34 PM / 16 days ago

Argentina to consider Olympics bid after Youth Games: Macri

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina will consider a possible Olympic Games bid after completing the Youth Olympics starting in Buenos Aires this week, Argentina president Mauricio Macri said on Friday.

Aerial view of the Dique Puerto Madero, Urban Park venue, with the city in the background, is seen ahead of the Youth Olympic Games, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, October 4, 2018. Gabriel Huesi for OIS/IOC/Handout via REUTERS

Macri, speaking at the start of an Olympic forum in the Argentine capital, said the Buenos Aires Youth Games had introduced innovations that could be implemented in other events.

The Youth Olympics are an International Olympic Committee (IOC) event and are a scaled down version of the Games, organized every four years for young athletes.

“Obviously once this wonderful event is finished we will have the chance to start thinking about trying to organize Olympic Games,” Macri said.

“It is obviously much more difficult.”

Seated next to IOC President Thomas Bach, Macri said the country’s current economic situation had forced organizers to find cost-effective solutions for the Youth Games.

“At a time when we are committed to reduce poverty, organizing such an event of money is no longer so easy. These innovations will help to add another value,” Macri said.

Argentina is struggling to break free from cyclical financial crises that have hit the country every decade over the past 60 years.

A $57 billion International Monetary Fund standby financing deal reached last week, upgraded from an original $50 billion, includes sharper spending cuts and tax hikes aimed at wiping out the country’s primary fiscal deficit, which is expected to equal 2.6 percent of gross domestic product this year.

“In this moment in which we live with a lot of tensions and the need to build new bridges, sports has a unique power to build bridges more solidly than those of steel,” Macri said.

Brazilian city Rio de Janeiro hosted the first South American Olympic Games in 2016. The 2024 Olympics will be hosted by Paris while Los Angeles will stage the 2028 edition.

Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; editing by Martyn Herman

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