German Greens pull out of Munich Olympic bid
A co-chairwoman of Germany's opposition Greens is leaving the board for Munich's 2018 Winter Olympics bid after a party conference voiced environmental and fiscal concerns about the city's plans.
The German news agency DAPD reported Sunday that the party leadership had decided on the move to have Claudia Roth step down as a member of the board.
A regular party conference on Saturday narrowly approved a motion brought by members that described the bid as ''ecologically anything but exemplary'' and expensive for taxpayers.
Roth had sought to defend her backing for the bid - saying she wanted to ensure that the games are ''as green as possible.''
Bid officials regretted the Greens' move, but chief executive Bernhard Schwank said the bid's environmental concept had been well received internationally and ''will be consistently implemented'' if Munich wins the games.
He pointed to the narrow passage of the Greens' motion against the bid as evidence that ''there is not complete rejection.''
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said the Greens' decision was ''regrettable'' and stressed that he will continue pushing Munich's case.
''We saw with the 2006 football World Cup how much prestige our country can win by holding international sports events,'' said Westerwelle, who is on the bid board.
Also in the running for 2018 are Annecy, France, and Pyeongchang, South Korea.