Voting in Sunday's referendum. Photo: PAP/Jacek Bednarczyk
Mayor Jacek Majchrowski said he regretted that Krakow was abandoning plans to host the event, blaming the lack of support on the original bid committee, which was sacked after a corruption scandal in April.
“When we launched our bid to host the Winter Olympics, we had a high level of public support,” he claimed.
“Unfortunately, the former leaders of the Krakow Competition Committee 2022, headed by Civic Platform MP Jagna Marczułajtis-Walczak, squandered that trust, and we had too little time to rebuild it.”
Jakub Michaluk, head of the Municipal Referendum Committee, revealed on Monday morning that 69.72 percent of voters opposed Krakow's hosting of the games. A 30 percent turnout had been necessary for the result to be valid, and 35.96 percent of eligible voters took part.
The outcome was met with jubilation by local NGO Krakow Against the Games (Krakow Przeciw Igrzyskom).
“For us this is the end of the matter,” group leader Tomasz Lesniak told the Dziennik Polski daily.
“The turnout reached the correct amount, so there's no room for interpretation.”
Krakow was one of five remaining cities in the running to host the 2022 Winter Olympics (almongside Oslo, Beijing, Almaty and Lviv).
It was estimated that the Polish bid could have cost in excess of 21 billion zloty (5 billion euros.) Some of the events had been scheduled to take place on the Slovakian side of the Tatra Mountains.
City councillors also used the referendum as an opportunity to gauge public opinion on three other matters, with support for new bike lanes winning the most approval.
89. 18 percent of voters supported more bike lanes, while 69.73 percent backed an increased number of surveillance cameras.
Slightly less popular were plans to construct a metro line in the city, with 55.11 percent of voters expressing support for the idea. (nh/pg)