Si les JO ont été un succès sur le plan sportif, il n’en est pas forcément de même sur le volet économique. En effet, les JO ont coûté très cher dans un pays qui connait des plans d’austérité depuis 2010, s’ajoutant au jubilé de Diamant de la reine Elisabeth. La consommation n’a pas été au rendez-vous. Cependant, David Cameron table sur des retombées économiques à long terme. De plus, la fierté britannique, le moral des ménages peut aider le pays à sortir de la crise qu’il traverse.
With Elizabeth’s diamond jubilee and the Olympic games, 2012 was an expensive year for Great Britain, especially in austere times. David Cameron assures that the Olympics will have short- to medium-term benefits, but Britain needs to wait a few years before it can see the results of this planetary event. For the moment, the results of this sportive month are mixed.
Objectively, when you consider non economic aspects, these Olympics are a success for GB. First things first, the sportive aspect: you need to go back to 1908 to find so many medals for British athletes- 65 medals and a place on the podium. With the Olympics came a great pride of being English and the “feel good factor”. It’s also an organizational success: security companies can be proud of what they achieved. Indeed, even if the preparations concerning the Olympics were depressing due to traffic and safety issues, there was no problem during the Olympics. Everyone who went to London this summer praised the traffic which was fluid in spite of the OG Lane. There were no demonstrations, no act of hooliganism, no uncontrolled behaviour. As far as traffic and security go, these Olympics can be regarded as a great success.
But the Olympics are not only sports. What will their legacy be? Britain has just undergone massive public spending cuts but this year’s OG and Queen Jubilee have cost a lot. Was it too expensive for a government which promised austerity? Despite the fact that David Cameron promised £13 billion in economic spinoffs over the next few years thanks to the OG, the PM must admit that consumption, for example, was not as strong as expected during August. As we write, London’s Games appear to be an economic failure.
However, Britain can still benefit from the event. First of all, the OG were an exceptional display case for the country in the entire world : the authorities expect more tourism over the next years (“the OG effect”). Secondly, the firms that worked for the organization and the good sequence of events have succeeded in acquiring an international stature and might get new contracts (security companies for Rio in 2016 for example). In the end, investors were impressed by the fact that the budget was respected. That’s why Britain’s seriousness makes easy loans possible. Even if England didn’t earn as much money as predicted, the infatuation for these Olympics has already made it a full success.
Despite everything, these results are still uncertain. Maybe the infrastructures set in place for the OG could be abandoned like in Greece after 2004… But the “feel good effect” can help Britain overcome the crisis. The Paralympic Games are now starting and are on their way to be another success as 250 000 seats have already been sold and a big screen has been set on Trafalgar Square. And at last David Cameron will finally be able to sleep well…
Paul TARSIGUEL & Matthieu SACRE