Dutch government threatens to boycott Euro 2012May 2nd, 2012 - 8:08 pm ICT by IANS
The Hague, May 2 (IANS) Dutch government officials and the royal family said they would not attend Euro 2012 Football Championships in Ukraine if the condition of imprisoned former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko do not improve, the outgoing Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal told local newspapers Wednesday.
“If no visible improvement occurs … in particular, the treatment of the imprisoned former prime minister Tymoshenko, the government will refrain from attending European Championship games in Ukraine,” Rosenthal said.
Dutch ministers and members of the royal family traditionally attend matches of the Dutch national team at major tournaments. However, a majority of the House of Commons feel the current situation in Ukraine merits no official representation, Xinhua reports.
The Netherlands are scheduled to play their group stage matches next month against Denmark, Germany and Portugal in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv.
A number of European leaders, led by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, have stated they may boycott the tournament if the conditions of Tymoshenko do not improve.
Tymoshenko was the prime minister of Ukraine from January to September 2005, and again from December 2007 to March 2010. She was a candidate at the presidential elections of 2010, but lost to current President Viktor Yanukovych.
In October last year, Tymoshenko was sentenced to seven years in jail for abusing her power in a gas deal with Russia in 2009. The decision of the judge was slammed by the West and the European Union (EU).
Tymoshenko is currently being held prisoner in Kharkiv and has been on hunger strike since April 20 to protest being allegedly mistreated by prison officials and doctors.
Rosenthal said he would raise the issue of Tymoshenko and other prisoners in Ukraine at the next EU foreign ministers meeting May 14.
“Ukraine must now understand what to do,” said Rosenthal.
“The treatment and procedure of Tymoshenko and other prisoners should meet international standards.”
The mega event will be co-hosted by Ukraine and Poland.
- Ukraine to host Euro 2012 despite boycott threats: President - May 15, 2012
- Former Ukraine PM Tymoshenko goes on hunger strike - Apr 25, 2012
- Ukraine ex-PM gets 7-year jail for abuse of office - Oct 11, 2011
- No Euro 2012 boycott, says Polish PM - May 25, 2012
- Ukraine's ex-PM arrested - Aug 05, 2011
- Ukrainians vote for president - Jan 17, 2010
- British government to boycott Euro 2012 - Jun 08, 2012
- Ukraine's opposition leader Tymoshenko charged with additional offense - Jan 27, 2011
- French officials to boycott Euro matches in Ukraine - Jun 02, 2012
- U.S. Delegation to travel to Kiev, Ukraine - Feb 24, 2010
- Yanukovych wins Ukraine presidential vote - Feb 10, 2010
- Yanukovych wins Ukraine presidential vote - Feb 09, 2010
- UN chief concerned over conviction of Ukraine's ex-PM - Oct 12, 2011
- Old rivals to meet in presidential runoff in Ukraine - Jan 18, 2010
- Ukrainians vote in presidential runoff - Feb 07, 2010
Tags: angela merkel, championship games, chancellor angela merkel, dutch government, dutch ministers, dutch national team, euro 2012, european leaders, football championships, foreign ministers, former prime minister, german chancellor angela merkel, group stage, hunger strike, local newspapers, presidential elections, prime minister of ukraine, prison officials, viktor yanukovych, visible improvement