Olympics could cost €2bn more in public funds than expected

Until recently, the figure quoted for the public cost of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games was three billion euros, but Pierre Moscovici, the first president of the Court of Auditors, has admitted that the bill will rise. Speaking on France Inter on Tuesday, he suggested that the cost could rise to four or five billion euros.

“We still don’t know the cost of the Olympic Games, the Court of Auditors will audit them after they are over,” said Moscovici. “These Games should cost between three, four, five billion, we’ll see, but it won’t have an absolutely massive impact on the debt,” he clarified. Asked by a member of the audience about the impact of Paris 2024 on the debt, Moscovici replied that it would be “moderate”.

The figure of three billion euros of public money for the Olympics was previously mentioned by Pierre Moscovici. In 2023, budget documents indicate a public investment of €2.44 billion (including €1.3bn for the State or 260 million for the City of Paris). However, the total public bill cannot be calculated. Not all the costs are known. For example, the 1,900-euro bonuses paid to police officers have recently been added. This could increase the public bill by 500 million euros.

Currently, the provisional bill for Paris 2024 – a mix of public and private money – is around €9 billion. The Olympic Organising Committee (COJO) has a budget of €4.4 billion euros, 96% of which is private money, and the budget of SOLIDEO, which is responsible for building the permanent facilities, is also €4.4 billion euros, of which €1.7 billion is public money.

As a sign of how difficult it is to close the budget four months before the Olympic Games, the COJO recently asked the Ile-de-France region if it could cover the travel costs of 200,000 accredited persons (athletes, officials, journalists…) with a budget of just under 10 million euros.

The COJO can “maximise its income” because it still has “sponsors to work with” and “tickets to sell”, according to Valérie Pécresse, who was interviewed by AFP on Tuesday.

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