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  • Chirac and Zapatero Arrive in SIngapore


    (ATR) The heads of government from France and Spain are the latest to arrive in Singapore to promote the bids from their nations. Jacques Chirac and Jose Luis Rodriquez Zapatero will make speeches in final presentations Wednesday to the IOC Session.

    Both men attended tonight's opening ceremony for the IOC Session at the Esplanade performance arts center, their first public outing with IOC members since their arrival. Britain's Tony Blair, who will leave tonight, has been on the scene since Saturday. He goes to Scotland to host the G-8, Chirac coming right behind him.

    "The best should win and that is what I want. And naturally I want the best to be Paris," said Chirac as he reached his hotel today.

    Chriac arrived to a pack of reporters who peppered him with questions about purported remarks he made last week that insulted the quality of British food and insinuated that Britian's only contribution to agriculture was mad cow disease.

    Zapatero told a packed news conference that Spain's high level of public support, near 90%, is one of the reasons to aaward the Games to Madrid.

    The Spanish leader said that we "can and must win tomorrow", noting that the bid also offers experience and respect for the environment.

    Also appearing at the press conference were Esperanza Aguirre, president of the Community of Madrid, Florentino Perez, President of Real Madrid Football club, IOC member Juan Antonio Samaranch Salisachs, and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, former number one ranked tennis player.

    More on the scene coverage from Singapore of the final hours in the race for the 2012 Olympics at