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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 April, 2003, 03:35 GMT 04:35 UK
Pizza owner faces Iraq ban fine
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 who refused to serve German and French customers because of their countries' stance over the Iraq war has been charged with racial discrimination.

Aage Bjerre, who owns Aage's Pizza in Nordby on the tourist island of Fanoe, faces a 5,000-kroner ($740) fine if found guilty.

Mr Bjerre told the Danish Ritzau news agency he did not intend to pay the fine and would rather go to prison.

He has also refused to remove signs outside his establishment saying German and French people are "not wanted".

"Other people can take them down, I won't," he said, adding he had received "hundreds of letters of support and packages containing souvenirs from every state in the United States".

He said he had been sent "only a dozen negative letters from Germany".

However, many local residents on the island have protested against his boycott and his restaurant has been vandalised on a number of occasions.


When he first imposed the ban, Mr Bjerre said he was 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 led international opposition to the war against Iraq, while Denmark sided with the US.

French customers are banned for life from the restaurant "because they are cowards" whereas German patrons will be only be barred for as long as their government is "disloyal" to the Americans, Mr Bjerre said.

The island is a popular spot with tourists from neighbouring Germany, but there are few French visitors to Fanoe who has a year-round population of 3,300.

Dane bans tourists over Iraq
25 Feb 03  |  Europe

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