After years of preparation, London is in the starting blocks for the Olympic Games which begin in three weeks’ time.
The British capital’s already world famous landmarks will reach a huge worldwide audience.
New sporting venues, transport links and buildings such as The Shard – the EU’s tallest building – are designed to take British pride to dizzy heights.
They have also sent costs through the roof: London looks set to be among the most expensive Olympics ever, reaching a total of some 12 billion euros.
One recent report from the ratings agency Moody’s says the games are unlikely to provide a substantial boost to the UK economy.
“It’s because there will be some off-setting implications so on the one hand people who might have been coming to London anyway may avoid London because of the Games and don’t want to get caught up in it. At the same time there may be a degree of business disruption which might affect local businesses in the area,” said Moody’s spokesman Colin Ellis.
Much of the investment has been made in the east of London.
The landscape in Stratford – once one of the poorest areas in England – has changed massively since it was chosen as the main venue for the games.
As well as the Olympic Park, Westfield is now Europe’s biggest urban shopping centre.
Reporting from London for euronews, Veronika Kormaier said: “Olympic Fever hasn’t yet arrived in Stratford. The area is still under construction. Although the Olympic site is impressive, local people are worried that the games will influence their everyday life too much.”
Inside the Stratford Centre, there is no sign that the games will be unfolding only a couple of hundred metres away.
Some local people – rather than seeing a potential boost for their businesses and the local community – are concerned at what they stand to lose.
“Well I’m not too pleased with it myself, because I think it’s going to disturb us. It will possibly fetch a bit of trade here, but it’s going to cause havoc on the roads around here, that’s for sure,” said 80-year-old fish seller Ronald Harvey.
“When I didn’t get any tickets, because I work in the area I did feel a bit (upset). I know people who are in Australia who got eight pairs of tickets. They’re coming from Australia and we didn’t get any,” said Paul Smith, a butcher.
The build-up to the Olympics has seen an avalanche of figures in terms of potential costs and benefits to the British economy.
Local people will find out soon what the Games will bring them in reality.
Copyright © 2014 euronewsMore about:
- 1Heavy fighting in Donetsk; possible mass grave discovered
- 2Catalan independence put on hold: constitutional court suspends vote
- 3Migrant deaths in Mediterranean reach a record 3,072 in 2014
- 4Spain: Constitutional court votes to suspend Catalonia independence referendum
- 5Denmark bridge collapse blocks motorway
- 1Algeria: ISIL offshoot releases video threatening French hostage Hervé Gourdel
- 2Update: Emma Watson nude photos threat may be elaborate PR stunt
- 3Iceland volcano ‘pollutes Paris’
- 4Teenage ‘terror suspect’ shot dead by police in Australia after attacking officers
- 5Watch: Leonardo DiCaprio speech among five must-see clips on UN climate summit
- 1Podemos: Spanish indignation in Brussels’ corridors of power | euronews, reporter
- 2Israel announces it will seize 400 acres in West Bank | euronews, world news
- 3Watch: Angry mob throw Ukraine MP into rubbish bin | euronews, world news
- 4Iraq: Baghdad rally held against US ‘occupiers’ | euronews, world news
- 5Japan sounds bluefin warning, calls for 50% catch cut | euronews, world news
- 6Now is ‘right time’ for Catalonia independence vote, says Mas | euronews, world news
- 7New car offers freedom for disabled drivers | euronews, hi-tech
- 83D printing: a driving force in design and engineering | euronews, hi-tech
- 9Rise of the machines | euronews, futuris
- 10Ukraine: Donetsk rebel weapons factory blows up | euronews, world news
- 11Young Yazidi girl escapes Islamic State kidnappers | euronews, world news
- 12Algeria: ISIL offshoot releases video threatening French hostage Hervé Gourdel | euronews, world news
- 13EU leaders name Donald Tusk European Council president | euronews, world news
- 14Official ‘executed by flame-thrower’ over links to Kim Jong-un’s purged uncle | euronews, world news
- 15Vatican rocked by another paedophilia scandal | euronews, world news
- 16#Indyref Live: Scotland votes on independence from UK | euronews, world news
- 17Thousands ‘evade’ Ebola lockdown in Sierra Leone | euronews, world news
- 18British Muslims’ message to ISIL: Not in my name! | euronews, world news
- 19Iceland puts on a show as two of its volcanoes spew out lava | euronews, world news
- 20The business benefits of EU chemical regulation | euronews, business planet
Wires > News
- 13:35 CET Syria raids show Saudi, UAE ambition to extend regional authority
- 13:26 CET Afghan, U.S. officials sign long-awaited security deal
- 13:18 CET Special Report – Wheat warfare: Islamic State uses grain to…
- 12:57 CET Hesitant Turkey seeks mandate for military action against Islamic…
- 12:28 CET Egyptian court jails 68 Muslim Brotherhood supporters
- 12:11 CET EU must put up resources for Mediterranean rescues – Amnesty
- 12:05 CET All aboard the ‘Corruptour’ for a glimpse of Mexico’s graft
- 11:35 CET Online abuse of women in Pakistan turns into real-world violence