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March 17, 2005

Greece considers building F-1 track

ATHENS

Greece is seeking foreign advice as it considers building a Formula One track to tune up the country’s vital tourism industry.

Tourism Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos said Tuesday that an expert involved in constructing the Bahrain circuit would soon visit Greece. He gave no further details.

Avramopoulos said last week the government was considering building a Grand Prix track, mentioning the Viotia region — about 100 kilometres north of Athens — as a possible location.

A final decision will be announced soon, he said.

Stung by dismal bookings during the Olympics last year, Greece is spending 60 million euros ($96.1 million Cdn) in 2005 to promote itself as a year-round vacation destination.

Tourism accounts for 18 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product.

Bahrain held its inaugural race last year at a $150-million (U.S.) circuit.

The Associated Press

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