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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 June, 2003, 14:26 GMT 15:26 UK
Pizza man fined for war racism
Danish pizzeria owner Aage Bjerre empties a bottle of French champagne outside his restaurant
Mr Bjerre says France and Germany were "disloyal" to the US
A Danish pizzeria owner who refused to serve German and French customers because of their countries' position on the Iraq war has been convicted of racial discrimination.

Aage Bjerre, who owns Aage's Pizza in Nordby on the tourist island of Fanoe, was fined 5,000 kroner ($787).

Mr Bjerre, 44, said he would appeal, but would rather go to prison than pay the fine.

I feel that I was convicted for supporting the coalition
Aage Bjerre
"I don't want to sell pizza to people from those two countries," he said.

"Every day I turn tourists down, but my conscience is doing fine."

He added: "I feel that I was convicted for supporting the coalition."

Denmark sent troops to Iraq as part of the US-led coalition of the willing.

Job offers

France and Germany, on the other hand vehemently opposed the war.

Mr Bjerre, who wears a little American flag on his shirt, accused them of being "disloyal" to the US.

In February he put up signs with bars through the images of people coloured in the French and German flags.

He also reprinted his menus without German translations.

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

Mr Bjerre said he had received many messages of support from the US, including job offers, and did not rule out accepting one of them.

He says he has already lost nearly 50,000 kroner ($7,800) because of a drop in business, and because of vandalism to his restaurant.


SEE ALSO:
Pizza owner faces Iraq ban fine
24 Apr 03  |  Europe
Dane bans tourists over Iraq
25 Feb 03  |  Europe


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