Third of Russians doubt positive effect of Moscow Olympics - survey

MOSCOW, July 5 (RIA Novosti) - The number of Russians who believe that Russia's prestige and foreign investment will increase if Moscow hosts the 2012 Olympics has fallen, according to a survey.

The poll, which was conducted by the all-Russian Center for Public Opinion Studies, showed that support for the Moscow bid had fallen from 34% in 2004 to 29% this year.

The share of Russians who said that enormous financial allocations should be spent on social needs rather than on the Olympics grew from 20% to 25%.

The number of respondents who said they believed the Olympics would give sports in Russia a boost remained at the same level (16-18%).

A further 18-19% said the Olympics would only have a positive influence on Moscow and not Russia in general. Interestingly, this opinion is shared by 11% of respondents in Moscow and 17-22% in other regions.

According to the survey, young respondents with a higher than average income and a university degree were most in favor of holding the Games in Moscow.

Russians said that they thought Moscow had far better chances of hosting Games than other candidate cities. A total of 38% of respondents (50% in the 18-24 age bracket) said the IOC would prefer Moscow to London, Madrid, Paris or New York. The other candidate cities gained 6%-9% of respondents' support, whereas every third respondent did not know which city had the highest chances.

The survey was conducted on June 25-26 and covered 1,594 people in 153 towns and cities Russia.

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