German government signs guarantees for Munich bid

The German federal government and regional authorities signed

financial and other guarantees required for Munich’s bid to host

the 2018 Winter Olympics on Wednesday.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said Munich’s bid was of ”national

interest” and will continue to receive support despite a group of

59 landowners saying they wouldn’t give up their land for Olympic


The guarantees are part of the official bid books that Munich

has to present to the International Olympic Council by Jan. 11.

The list of 47 guarantees covers infrastructure projects, such

as building Olympic villages, as well as giving the IOC special

marketing rights and observing anti-doping laws.

The government also backed staging the ice events in Munich and

skiing events around Garmisch-Partenkirchen, about 90 minutes away

by train.

On Tuesday, a group of 59 farmers and landowners said it would

refuse to turn over land for Alpine ski races and demanded Munich

drop its bid for the games.

The state government, however, said most of the group’s land is

not included in the plans, while a German Olympic official said the

refusal will not affect the bid.

A lawyer for the group said the farmers’ permission is needed to

stage the showcase downhill event without altering the course.

Munich is competing for the 2018 games with Annecy, France; and

Pyeongchang, South Korea. The IOC will select the host city on July

6 in Durban, South Africa.