BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Last Updated:  Tuesday, 25 February, 2003, 19:54 GMT
Dane bans tourists over Iraq
Danish pizzeria owner Aage Bjerre empties a bottle of French champagne outside his restaurant
Mr Bjerre wants France and Germany to see the error of their ways
The owner of a pizzeria in Denmark used to ban just dogs from his establishment.

But now he says he also wants German and French customers to keep away because of their countries' opposition to a US-led war against Iraq.

Aage Bjerre, who owns Aage's Pizza in Nordby on the island of Fanoe, has said he is tired of French and German attitudes toward the United States, calling them "disloyal" and "anti-American".

I do what my conscience tells me to do
Aage Bjerre
Danish pizzeria owner
Germany and France have been leading international opposition to a possible war against Iraq, while Denmark has declared its support for the US.

On Friday, Mr Bjerre put two home-made pictograms on the restaurant door with a bar across each one.

One features the silhouette of a man sporting the colours of the German flag, the second those of the French flag.

"I am very angry with the Germans and the French," he told JydskeVestkysten newspaper.

"The French are cowards and they are banned for life, and as long as the Germans behave disloyally towards the USA, I can't be bothered to make food for them," he said.

A pot of herbs was thrown through the window of his restaurant at the weekend, but Mr Bjerre says that apart from that incident he has been getting a lot of positive reaction to his stand.

"I have never sold as much as I did over the weekend," he said.

Mr Bjerre could be in breach of Denmark's anti-racism legislation, but told the newspaper he would carry on with the ban regardless.

Tourist season

The ban is not expected to affect Mr Bjerre's business just yet because the tourist season on the island starts after Easter and peaks during the summer.

The island, 320 kilometres (200 miles) south-west of the capital, Copenhagen, is a popular spot for visitors from neighbouring Germany.

Of the approximately 100,000 tourists who come, some 60% are German, and then mostly Scandinavians and Dutch.

There are few French visitors to the island, which has a year-round population of 3,300.

But if Germany decides to participate in an American-led action against Iraq, Mr Bjerre says he will lift the ban.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | World | UK | England | Northern Ireland | Scotland | Wales | Politics
Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health | Education
Have Your Say | Magazine | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific