January 15, 2015

ATHENS, Greece (AP) The 2004 Athens Olympics cost Greece a total of 6.5 billion euros ($7.5 billion) and didn't significantly affect the debt-heavy country's finances, a Greek economic think tank has found.

A study on the economic impact of the games by the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research says the Athens Olympics had a positive effect on domestic economic activity and employment. But it noted that Greece failed to fully exploit that boost.

The study published on Thursday was commissioned and financed by former organizing committee chief Gianna Angelopoulos.

It estimated that some 2.9 billion euros ($3.3 billion) returned to the state coffers in the form of taxes and social security contributions.

Half of the total outlay, which excludes Olympics-linked projects such as a new Athens airport and subway, was spent on sports venues.

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