European Olympic boycott fears allayed
An interesting tale reaches me on the joint meeting of the European sports ministers and European Olympic committees that came out unanimously against a boycott of the Beijing Olympics.
The meeting took place in Slovenia on Monday and I am told that on Sunday night the 27 presidents of the European Olympic committees made it clear that any talk of Tibet or a boycott of the Olympics was not on their agenda and they would not want it on the joint declaration.
The two groups first met separately and the Olympic chiefs did not discuss Tibet.
But I am also told that when the sports ministers had their own separate meeting they did discuss the issue and some of the northern Europeans felt rather strongly about it and there was some discussion about events in Tibet and the consequences for the Games.
When the groups convened for the the joint meeting the Danish sports minister did start talking about the issue but Britain's sport's minister Gerry Sutcliffe effectively intervened to say that this was an issue for foreign ministers and sports ministers should not go into areas that do not concern them.
The result was a declaration which stated clearly that there was no question of boycotting the Olympics.
Patrick Hickey, the President of the European Olympic Association told me: "We were very happy that it was a unanimous decision of both groups not to support a boycott of the Beijing Olympics.
"It showed great unity between the European ministers and the president of the Olympic Committee."
So despite concerns in some countries about events in Tibet there is no indication that there is any appetite for a boycott of the Beijing Olympics.