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Third of Germans want total Euro 2012 boycott

The Local · 4 May 2012, 14:31

Published: 04 May 2012 11:38 GMT+02:00
Updated: 04 May 2012 14:31 GMT+02:00

Far more (74 percent) would like to see Chancellor Angela Merkel and her cabinet stay home during the tournament, a new survey by state broadcaster ARD said, while a little over half (53 percent) want to see political and economic sanctions instead of a boycott.

On Thursday the European Commission announced that it would be boycotting the competition, in protest against the Ukrainian government of President Viktor Yanukovych. Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso announcing he had "no intention" of attending any matches.

A Ukrainian daily close to the party of President Viktor Yanukovych published a startling editorial on Friday accusing Germany of effectively still being Nazi-run.

The unashamedly anti-German article in the national daily Segodnya -- owned

by tycoon and close Yanukovych ally Rinat Akhmetov said, "Germany again wants to dictate its will over Europe."

"They have taken off their masks and it really is the case that the Berlin of 2012 is in no way different from the Berlin of the 1940s.

"Germany has not changed in the past 70 years and we are not just talking about the geopolitical ambitions of Merkel and Westerwelle."

There has also been international backlash against the planned boycott, with human rights organisation Amnesty International questioning its efficacy.

Wolfgang Grenz, general secretary of Amnesty's German branch, told the Handelsblatt newspaper that politicians and sports officials should rather "use the opportunity to draw attention to the serious violations of human rights and to call for better human rights protection from the Ukrainian government."

And a senior ally of President Yanukovych warned Germany of economic consequences of its boycott in an interview on Friday.

"German manufacturers will lose," Leonid Kozhara, the deputy chairman of Yanukovych's ruling Regions Party who is responsible for foreign policy issues, told Der Spiegel magazine.

It follows comments on Thursday by German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, who has taken a tough stance towards Ukraine over its treatment of Tymoshenko.

Story continues below…

He said that EU countries had agreed to delay ratification of an association deal with Ukraine because of concerns over the 2004 Orange Revolution leader, who has been on a hunger strike since April 20 to protest her alleged beating by three prison wardens.

"Without agreement, German access to the Ukrainian market will be limited," Kozhara warned. "It seems to me that the Tymoshenko case has a very personal character for some politicians in the West."

The Local/AFP/DAPD/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

13:15 May 4, 2012 by Interfides
"A third of Germans want their football team to boycott the football European Championships in Poland and Ukraine" - whooo, wait a second... Since when there is a plat to boycott also Polish part of the tournament?

I was sure that the whole talk was only about Ukraine, not Poland...
13:22 May 4, 2012 by Al uk
I know of quite a few people who will not be going to Ukraine. Mainly due to the total rip off prices for hotels and the like.
14:00 May 4, 2012 by freechoice
and do you think Ukraine will give a cow's dung?
14:17 May 4, 2012 by T.J. Morton
It would have been nice for The Local to include at least a passing reference to the source of these statistics. Granted, my three years here in Germany do not make me an expert, but I have a hard time believing that 33% of Germans want their men's national team to boycott a tournament in which they have to be the preemptive favorite to win!

I remember what it was like when the U.S. boycotted the 1980 summer Olympics (and the resulting boycott of the '84 summer games by Russia). It didn't hurt either country - it only hurt the athletes who had devoted the majority of their adult lives to train for one shot at Olympic gold.

Boycotting Euro 2012 won't hurt the Ukraine - it will only hurt the DfB and the current crop of national team players.

Jetzt geht's los DfB Elf!!!
16:51 May 4, 2012 by amaticc
Why not to go furtehermore?

All countries which hosted secreet CIA flights to be removed from olympic games and any football competition till all arested extremist are not free and all people involved in this are not in a jail. :)

Or it is nice to hear how EU complain that Puttin is 3rd time preseident of Russia, why are you not complaining that Tadic can compete for a presidency in Serbia?

19:37 May 4, 2012 by Englishted
How many people did they ask?

What ages and sexes where asked?

By the way I have hear nothing from the U.K. on this subject .

Most people will not care one way or the other about Ukrainian.

But I bet more people don't want them to be asked to join the E.U. but as always will not be given a vote if it comes up anyway .
09:50 May 5, 2012 by AClassicRed
I think the true irony that seems to escape these people of the Ukrainian government and others like Akhmetov, when they make the assertion Germany is returned to the Nazi state of pre-1940's....when it is actually THEY who have that mentality in how the legislate and the treatment of Tymoshenko.

Germany is radically different in this than the 1940s, this time Germany and apparently a large majority of its people are stepping up to speak up against injustice. They are saying, we will not tolerate this kind of behavior. What Akhmetov puts forth is absurd, besides the price gouging and gang takeovers that are occuring in the Ukraine they DON'T address.
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