Prime Minister to boycott Olympic opening ceremony

Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek told the press on Wednesday that he would not be attending the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games. A spokesperson for the prime minister made the announcement, adding that Mr Topolánek’s decision came in the light of discussions held with other members of the cabinet. Mr Topolánek said at the end of March that it was up to his cabinet to decide whether he should attend after controversy surrounded China’s crackdown in Tibet and spurred calls for an Olympic boycott. Head of state Václav Klaus has also said that he will not attend the Olympics, though this is because he is due to be undergoing surgery in Prague at the time. Prague mayor Pavel Bem and minister for education, youth and sport Ondřej Liška have also declared that for ideological reasons, they will not be going to the summer games.

Author: Rosie Johnston