Czech government gives legal guarantees for Prague Olympic bid

( dpa ) - The Czech government decided to give guarantees Wednesday to enable Prague's bid for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek told reporters.

"The government has approved a necessary condition for the capital Prague to be listed among the candidates," he said at a press conference broadcast by CT24 news channel.

The guarantees - that the country will for example secure athletes' free movement - are part of a required questionnaire, which bidders must submit to the Lausanne-based International Olympic Committee by Monday.

The cabinet, which has been divided on the issue, has however provided Prague with what Topolanek has billed "formal" guarantees only.

The city, whose Mayor Pavel Bem is the first deputy chairman of the Topolanek-led Civic Democratic Party and also the premier's political rival, has yet to persuade the centre-right ruling coalition to give financial guarantees crucial for the bid to be successful.

Junior ruling Greens and Christian Democrats have opposed the plan to bring the Olympics to the Czech capital as too expensive and inconvenient for the provinces.

Other bidders are Baku, Chicago, Doha, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo. The winner will be chosen in October 2009. dpa kza mga

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