President Victor Yushchenko on Tuesday chaired the first meeting of the Euro 2012 Coordinating Council.

Yushchenko described the Euro 2012 championship finals as an “extraordinary national event, a continental project involving very many institutions.” “There is no time for declarations and speeches and it is time we started doing practical things,” he said, President's press office reported.

The president insisted it was important to “immediately inventory” Ukraine’s financial resources to estimate how much the project will cost and find potential sources to finance it.

“It is obvious that Ukraine must create favorable conditions for its guests,” he said, speaking about foreign tourists that will come to the country to watch the matches, and urged law enforcement agencies to “demonstrate high competence and hospitality.”

Yushchenko demanded that the country’s soccer facilities must be reconstructed or built in line with international technical standards stated in Ukraine’s agreement with UEFA. He also asked Kyiv’s authorities to resolve their conflict with an investor building a leisure center in front of the capital’s Olympic Stadium, which may impede the evacuation of soccer fans in emergency, peacefully, legally and with respect for the investor’s property rights. “I am convinced the Euro 2012 finals cannot be a hostage of local or central collisions.”

“All of us – the football federation, the cabinet of ministers, the capital and other cities participating in preparations for this event – must fulfill all the obligations we have assumed,” he said, adding that he expected the Euro 2012 Organizing Committee, led by Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, to craft a detailed agenda of the event. “I am convinced that our preparations for the championship are an indicator of our consistency with European standards and the transparency of the government and its ability to effectively prepare such a continental project.”

Yushchenko said Ukraine and Poland must coordinate their efforts to organize and host the event.

He said Ukraineshould use this unique chance to demonstrate its national capabilities, stimulate reforms and economic growth and develop national sports. “It is also important to use this event to unite the Ukrainian nation. We must show Ukraine’s advantages and open the country for ourselves, our guests and European friends.”

Deputy Prime Minister Dmytro Tabachnyk, first deputy chairman of the Euro 2012 Organizing Committee, said in his report a draft program to host the championship finals was almost ready. He said the government aimed to develop Ukraine’s infrastructure, stimulate local business, attract USD 18 bln investment and create up to 3 mln jobs. Tabachnyk added that the plan had been discussed with subcontractors and local governments throughout Ukraine.

“I think we will be ready to approve it at a session of the cabinet of ministers in July,” he said.


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