Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has vetoed budget amendments requiring the National Bank to provide $1 billion for Ukraine's preparations to host the next European football championships. Ukraine's readiness for the Euro 2012 tournament, which it is to share with Poland, has been a constant source of concern for UEFA, which has only confirmed that games will be played in the capital, Kiev. Poland's preparations have been approved by European football's governing body.
The Ukrainian president's press service said the country's parlous financial state did not allow for such spending, as funds had to be held back in order to support the banking sector.
"In view of the increase in the amount of reserves given for bank refinancing, it is not excluded that the National Bank could even record losses. For this reason, current legislation stipulates that in such a situation the state budget should on the contrary cover these losses by the National Bank," the press service said.
The Ukrainian parliament passed the amendments allocating an additional $1 billion for Euro 2012 preparations on July 1, just a week after Yushchenko said Ukraine faced serious difficulties in completing preparations for the tournament. Although Kiev has been guaranteed games, it may lose the final due to the poor preparations. A decision on the final and the suitability of the three other cities - Donetsk, Lvov and Kharkov - will be made on November 30.
Ukraine and Poland were named as joint hosts for the tournament in April 2007. All four Polish cities put forward for the tournament - Warsaw, Poznan, Wroclaw and Gdansk - have been confirmed by UEFA as venues.
The latest problems over Euro 2012 funding come as Ukraine celebrated beating England in the final of the European under-19 championships, which were staged in the Ukraine cities of Donetsk and Mariupol. UEFA praised the tournament, which it said on Monday had set a record for attendance at the age level.
Source: RIA Novosti