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For sure, overpriced stadiums, roads and other improvements that will cost taxpayers $9 billion out of the overall estimated $20 billion project. Critics say the costs are inflated by at least several billion dollars because of no-bid contracts. Who is benefitting from these uncompetitive practices? Will Euro 2012 turn out to be a national boondoggle?

When Ukraine and Poland won the bid four years ago to co-host the Euro 2012 championships, even non-soccer fans welcomed Ukraine’s new opportunity to attract investment and overhaul its Soviet infrastructure.

Preparations accelerated after President Viktor Yanukovych took office last year. However, progress is coming at a huge cost to the state budget, transparency, competitiveness – and, some say – to Ukraine’s already battered image abroad.

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