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EUROPE > ‘Poland ready for Euro 2012’

WARSAW - Agence France-Presse

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Young people sign on a giant football with Poland’s national symbols before in downtown Warsaw prior to Euro 2012.

Young people sign on a giant football with Poland’s national symbols before in downtown Warsaw prior to Euro 2012.

Euro 2012 co-host Poland is fully prepared for the football showcase that kicks off in 23 days, Sports Minister Joanna Mucha said yesterday.

“As of today, May 17, Poland has reached full operational readiness in line with our plans,” Mucha told the press. With the European Championship in Poland and neighboring Ukraine marking the first edition of the 16-nation tournament to take place in the former communist bloc, organisers are keenly aware that they are in the spotlight.

Amid concerns about sluggish preparations, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk in February shook up his country’s organising committee, which brings together branches including ministries, the police and local authorities.

“From February 10 until today, we have carried out all the planned tasks and activities, and adopted guidelines for the operation of all areas of the tournament,” Mucha said.

With the region’s infrastructure lagging far behind that of previous west European tournament hosts, albeit less so in Poland than Ukraine, the two countries have had their work cut out to get ready.

One notable area under scrutiny in Poland has been the failure to complete a final stretch of motorway that would plug a gap between the capital Warsaw to the main route to the German border.

Euro 2012 kicks off in Warsaw on June 8 and ends on July 1 in Kiev.

May/18/2012

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