Survey: Majority of Danes support Olympic ceremony boycott
(dpa) - A majority of Danish nationals back a boycott of the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics to protest human rights violations in China, a survey published Monday said.
The Gallup poll said 50 per cent supported a boycott of the opening ceremony unless China improves its human rights record, 39 per cent opposed a boycott while 11 per cent were undecided.
The poll was commissioned by the Berlingske Tidende newspaper.
In a related development, Culture Minister Brian Mikkelsen who also handles sports matters told broadcaster TV2 Sunday evening he was thinking about staying away from the opening ceremony.
"The current situation in Tibet is unsatisfactory," Mikkelsen said, adding that Copenhagen was keeping close track of developments in Tibet.
"There is need for a dialogue between the Chinese government and the Tibetans that can secure the Tibetans' right to freedom of religion, human rights," he said.
Mikkelsen's remarks signalled a possible change of the government's stance. Copenhagen has so far said that a decision of a possible boycott of the opening ceremony should be made by the European Union, and a lone Danish action would be futile.
The opposition Social Democrats said they remained convinced that only a joint EU decision would be worthwhile.
If the Danish government stays away, Crown Prince Frederik will also likely have to follow suit.
The crown prince is vying for a place on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) next year.