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Rogge impressed by Athens progress

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ATHENS, Greece -- International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge hailed Greek preparations for this summer's Athens Games, but said security remained a priority for organizers.

"The first years after Athens took the Games the progress of preparations were disappointingly slow," Rogge told Greece's Ethnos newspaper.

"In recent years though the progress achieved by Athens organizers and the government is impressive."

Rogge, who was chief overseer of the Games before taking over the IOC in 2001, said he would continue to worry until the opening ceremony.

"The hosting of the Games is a great responsibility and it is not something that can be taken lightly," he said.

"Security remains the number one priority."

Greece has budgeted $750 million on security -- the biggest amount in Olympic history -- and plans to deploy a 50,000 security force during the Games from August 13-29.

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