by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
GP Week : Issue 170
One of the most shocking announcements of the past week in motorsport came not from Suzuka, nor Brackley, but from the Greek city of Patras. Patras, the third-largest city in Greece, has long been working to get a Greek Grand Prix onto the F1 calendar. Representatives from the Patras bid were invited to the 2012 Monaco Grand Prix as guests of Bernie Ecclestone, where they met with the F1 supremo to discuss their plans to bring Formula One to the eastern Mediterranean. It was widely assumed that the plans would come to nothing, given the state of Greece’s finances and the high costs associated with running a grand prix. But the Greek government this week unlocked a $37.2 million subsidy ear-marked for the construction of an FIA Grade I-specification racing circuit, to be built 20 miles from Patras. Should all go to plan, Patras hopes to host its first Formula One Grand Prix in 2016. Despite a financial crisis that has seen regular and violent protests in Athens, an increase in the popularity of far right parties on the grounds that they have been supplying produce to the long- term unemployed (and employed but unpaid), and significant cuts to salaries and social services, the Greek government this week agreed to pay one-third of the costs of the Patras circuit. Greece’s financial collapse is such that it has threatened to destroy the Eurozone, while the country has seriously mooted the possibility of selling off islands to pay its sizeable debts. Civil servants have been working unpaid for months, with some government employees not paid in over a year. Hospitals and pharmacies are running out of critical medical supplies. In that context, the 500 jobs the Greek government hopes will be created by the circuit seem largely irrelevant. While the politics of panem et circenses – or bread and circuses – is nothing new, historically it has been shown that for the circuses to prove effective distraction for an unhappy populace, bread must also be available. In Greece, at present, that is not the case at all. GREECE ANNOUNCES THE AUSTERITY GP; WORLD HORRIFIED F1 >>> NEWS as_gpweek_superior.indd 1 9/7/12 1:58 PM as_gpweek_superior_tech1z.indd 1 10/2/12 2:02 PM 8 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: