Euro 2012 is almost over. Italy plays Spain on July 1st for the Championship.
I was happy to watch Ukraine overcome Sweden at a bar with friends, and to watch one albeit unimportant game in the Kyiv Stadium (Sweden v. France after both their fates had already been settled).
The long-anticipated event seems to have more-less gone off without any major problems. All the tourists I spoke with were very impressed. That’s the surface.
Behind the surface was, as is characteristic of tax-funded endeavors, massive, massive corruption. It’s highlighted in this ̶U̶k̶r̶a̶i̶n̶i̶a̶n̶ Russian-language video:
“Even as the Euro 2012 soccer championships kick off Friday, it’s already clear there will be big losers in host countries Poland and Ukraine.
The first former Soviet-bloc nations to host the quadrennial tournament have spent almost $39 billion getting ready, including $25 billion in Poland and $14 billion in Ukraine. Besides accommodating an expected 1 million soccer fans, the two countries are betting that new stadiums, roads, and other infrastructure will help give a nice boost to their economies and local companies.
So far, it hasn’t worked out that way. Three of Poland’s biggest construction companies have declared bankruptcy in recent weeks after running up hundreds of millions in losses on Euro 2012 projects. ” (Read more from businessweek.com)
Here are some pics I took through the experience: