Sports Minister boycotts Beijing opening ceremony
Flemish Sports Minister Bert Anciaux will not be attending the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics.
Flemish Sports Minister Bert Anciaux will not be attending the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics. The minister is taking a stand in defence of the cultural rights of the people of Tibet.
The left-leaning regionalist insists the Games must go ahead. He is not in favour of a boycott.
Mr Anciaux of the opposition Spirit party is pleased that Tibet is getting a lot of attention. He's been fighting for cultural rights for the people of Tibet for many years.
The Flemish Sports Minister will attend the Beijing Olympics, but will not play along with the promotion efforts of the Chinese regime.
He feels that the opening ceremony is part of China's propaganda machine and that the Flemish sports authorities should have as little as possible to do with this kind of thing.
Quizzed by VRT Radio about giving a more forthright signal and staying away all together, Mr Anciaux says that last year on one occasion he did not go to China, but that had more to do with a dispute after he didn't get a visa.
The Sports Minister insists that a full boycott will only punish athletes who have been working extremely hard for the past four years.