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82 percent say Games were worth trouble

ATHENS, Greece -- One week after the closing ceremony, 82
percent of Athenians say the Olympics were worth the years of
sacrifice, according to a poll published Saturday.

The survey, in the daily newspaper Ta Nea, also found 54 percent
of those polled believe living conditions will improve in the Greek
capital after the games.

No margin of error was given in the Global Link poll conducted
Aug. 30-31. It involved phone interviews with 400 people over age
18.

Aside from Olympic venues, the government constructed a suburban
railway system linking the capital with its international airport
and a tram network connecting the center of Athens with several
seaside suburbs. New roads and subway stations also were built.

According to the poll, 61 percent of Athenians believe the
Olympics will help the country long term while 27 percent say the
cost will be far greater than any benefits. The overall price tag
is expected to exceed $8.5 billion because of massive security and
overruns on delayed projects.

Seventy percent were pleased with the security and said it was
tolerable while 21 percent of those polled found the measures
excessive.

On Friday, hundreds of Greek protesters from leftist groups and
labor unions demonstrated in Athens, opposing plans for the
post-Olympic use of surveillance cameras. In one instance they
sprayed a camera with black paint and covered it with a sack.