Polish PM and Czech President stage a pro-Tibet protest

Photo: CTK

European Union foreign ministers were meeting in the Slovene town of Brdo on the weekend to discuss the situation in Tibet as well as on their doorstep in the Balkans. Ahead of the meeting Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk and Czech President Vaclav Klaus said they would not travel to Beijing for the Olympic opening ceremony as a protest against China's crackdown on Tibetan protesters. They were hoping to start something of an EU pro-Tibet protest. Kerry Skyring spoke to Austrian Radio's Raimund Löw who was in Brdo with the foreign ministers and asked him is this the beginning of an EU boycott of the Olympic opening?

Photo: CTK
"Well the European Union is now facing a big fundamental debate on human rights and foreign policy and that's a debate that hasn't happened in Europe for a long time. The last time there was such a debate it was during the Cold War and it is interesting that politicians from the former eastern Europe are in the forefront, like the Polish Prime Minister and the Czech President - both said they would not attend the opening ceremony in Beijing. On the other side you have politicians like Gordon Brown that sound more pragmatic and want to postpone a decision on what to do".

So little chance then of a united front on this?

"Well the question of boycotting the sport event as such is not really seriously considered".

But on staying away from the opening ceremony?

"That is the goal. The goal is to coordinate, in a certain way, the European attitude towards the opening ceremony but that will certainly not happen now because the EU politicians will want to see how things go on in China, how the Chinese government reacts and how the situation looks in a couple of weeks".