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Danish crown prince urged to avoid Beijing Games opening ceremony

February 1, 2008

DPA
Thursday, January 31, 2008

Copenhagen, January 30: Danish Crown Prince Frederik faces some tough
choices in connection with the upcoming Beijing Olympic Games, mainly if
he should attend the opening ceremony or not. Three parties in the
Danish parliament have backed calls urging the future heir to the Danish
throne to avoid the opening ceremony to protest Beijing's human rights
record.

Britain's Prince Charles was recently reported to have decided to
boycott the ceremony.

A leading member of Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen's Liberal Party
on Wednesday joined the fray saying it was necessary to discuss the
crown prince's possible attendance at the opening ceremony.

Foreign affairs spokesman Soren Pind said on his personal website that
it did matter if the crown prince "attended an event that in my view is
more and more akin to the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games," referring to the
games hosted by Nazi-ruled Germany.

The Danish premier Tuesday said that he did not want to mix sports and
politics, and that it would seem strange if the crown prince was not
present when Danish athletes were to compete.

In addition to steering clear of politics, Crown Prince Frederik also
has to keep on good terms with the members of the International Olympic
Committee (IOC) since he is vying for a place on the IOC when Denmark's
current IOC member Kai Holm steps down.

Frederik met his wife, Australian-born Crown Princess Mary, at a Sydney
pub during the 2000 Olympics. They were married in 2004.
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