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MARCH 10, 2005

Where there is a Turk, there is a Greek

The Greeks and the Turks have long been highly competitive races, a rivalry which has resulted in several wars along the way. Thus it is not a big surprise that the Greeks are now talking about holding a Grand Prix. Turkey has one and the Greeks want the same kind of status that such a race would bring. the Greeks have just finished with the Olympic Games and wish to perpetuate the image of being a sporting nation and to keep the tourist dollars flowing in. In the circumstances F1 makes some sense.

According to reports from Athens, the country's Minister of Tourism (a former mayor of Athens) Dimitris Avramopoulos has identified a site for a Formula 1 race track. Considered one of the most popular politicians in the country Avramopoulos has big ambitions for the future and such grand national projects are right up his street.

"There are some plans on the table about the creation of a Formula 1 racing track," the Greek sports minister Giorgos Orphanos told The Associated Press. "It requires some caution but it is something we could see as positive."

The likely site for such a track would be the Viotia Prefecture, which spans the Greek mainland to the north of Athens, stretching from Chalkida on the Gulf of Evoikos to the Bay of Corinth, which includes a wealth of archaeological sites in addition to beaches and even skiing on the slopes of Mt Parnassos. The prefecture includes the cities of Livadia, Orhomenos, Arahova and Thebes. The region is popular as a place for summer homes for the population of Athens and is well-provided with both infrastructure and transportation links.