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Slovakia to Join Poland’s Bid for 2022 Olympics to Spur Growth

Slovakia will join neighboring Poland in a bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games as the government seeks to boost growth at a time when austerity measures and the euro-area crisis are hurting the economy.

Slovakia will offer to hold several sporting events, bidding jointly with Poland’s Krakow, Education and Sports Minister Dusan Caplovic said. The government will discuss a detailed analysis of the project’s environmental impact and its costs by the end of October, he said.

Premier Robert Fico wants to fuel economic growth with public investment to reduce the eastern euro member’s reliance on export demand from crisis-struck western Europe. The country of 5.5 million people, about one-seventh of Poland’s population, is counting on its skiing resorts including Jasna, which is operated by Tatry Mountain Resort AS, and ice hockey stadiums to support the joint bid.

The total costs of hosting the games are estimated at about $2 billion, of which between 20 percent and 30 percent shall be borne by Slovakia, according to a document discussed by the Cabinet in the capital, Bratislava, today. The bid comes at a time when a worsening outlook for economic growth is reducing room for fiscal stimulus as the country works on meeting the European Union’s budget-deficit limit.

The two countries would submit the joint bid to the International Olympic Committee in October, according to the schedule in the government document. The IOC is expected to create a shortlist of applicants by June next year and pick the host city in 2015.

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