Wed, Jul 14, 2004 - Page 19 News List

Greece redoubles efforts after Euro 2004 victory


Greek orthodox priests sit at sidewalk cafes. A new subway system and one of the world's most impressive airports lead visitors to chaotic downtown streets.

An Athens baker, hearing a visitor speaking English to his family, starts cursing in Greek about "Bush and Blair" and how Americans are ruining the world. Then he hands the children cookies and gives the visitor two free loaves of bread.

Vagelis Constantine, who sells gyros in the touristy Plaka district below the Acropolis, says the Athens Olympics will be in keeping with his nation's style.

"It might not be the most perfectly organized Olympics, but perfect is sometimes boring," he says. "It's going to be a Greek Olympics -- it's going to be totally unpredictable."

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