Premier signals that Denmark likely to attend Olympic ceremony

Other News Materials 24 April 2008 14:13 (UTC +04:00)

Denmark will likely attend the opening ceremony at the Beijing Olympics, Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Thursday, reported the dpa.

"The government's starting point is to attend the opening ceremony," Rasmussen told reporters after a meeting with parliament's culture committee.

Rasmussen added that the government was also to consider the outcome of a meeting of European Union foreign ministers in June "where the situation in China and Tibet was to be discussed. So the final assessment will be made in June."

The premier said he believed a possible boycott by politicians and other dignitaries of the opening ceremony was somewhat "hypocritical" since athletes were allowed to take part.

Rasmussen's remarks suggested that Culture Minister Brian Mikkelsen, who also handles sports matters, will attend.

Mikkelsen has earlier expressed doubts over attending the ceremony.

Pia Kjaersgaard, leader of the Danish People's Party that provides backing to Rasmussen's centre-right minority government, said she regretted that the Danish government was slated to attend the ceremony, according to Danish news agency Ritzau.

Danish Crown Prince Frederik, who is hoping to be elected to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) next year, is likely to attend if Copenhagen does.

A recent poll suggested Danes support a boycott of the opening ceremony over concerns at the human rights situation in Tibet.