2016, Olympic year, is over. The ICMG welcomes the numerous medals won by the Mediterranean countries. They have been our pride and we reiterate our heartiest compliments to the NOCs concerned.
Unfortunately, our Mediterranean basin remains a theatre of calamities: wars, conflicts and humanitarian tragedies with an incessant flow of migrants crossing our sea on makeshift means, at the risk of their lives. Running away has become for many people the ultimate means of survival. The ICMG regards highly the actions taken in the region with persistence and generosity by all humanitarian organizations in order to provide means of survival and give hope.
The economic crisis as well as the political problems have affected almost all the countries of the Mediterranean basin causing a wave of recession that has affected sports organizations as well. One of the major consequences for the ICMG has been the postponement for a year of the 18th edition of the Mediterranean Games, originally planned for 2017 in Tarragona. This has been a legitimate decision of the Spanish COJM which remains fully committed to organizing an edition of our Games according to the Spanish tradition of excellence and in compliance with the criteria set by the ICMG. The Mediterranean NOCs have shown great understanding and exemplary solidarity in this respect and should remain on alert for optimal participation in the Mediterranean Games of Tarragona 2018.
After a long absence from the southern shore of the Mediterranean, the Mediterranean Games will be held in 2021 in Oran. For its part, the COJM has started the process of preparations and we are very pleased. The ICMG will be at its side at all times for the success of the project.
In 2017, only one Mediterranean city remains in the running to host the Olympic Games in 2024. Our best wishes for success accompany the candidacy of Paris.
In 2017, San Marino will host the XVII Games of the Small States of Europe and we are certain that they will be a great success.
Dear Mediterranean friends, athletes and sports managers, we wish you an excellent year 2017, full of sporting successes.
We also hope that the year 2017 shall bring more serenity, fraternity and peace to our Mediterranean region.