Conventional wisdom says that NYC isn’t going to succeed in its bid to land the 2012 Olympic Games. The world hates Americans too much to award them such an honor. Therefore, our fine Parisian friends are the supposed frontrunners. All of a sudden the Frenchies have problems as well it seems. The Guardian reports:
Sikh leaders in Britain have written to all 117 International Olympic Committee members urging them not to vote for the favourites Paris when they meet to elect a host city to stage the 2012 games next month.
They claim that the controversial French law banning the Sikh dastar (turban) along with other religious articles of faith in schools is discriminatory and that Paris does not deserve to be awarded the Olympics.
“We publicly stated that, if the law in France was implemented to deny Sikh children the right to wear the turban, we would have little choice but to lobby against the Paris bid for 2012,” wrote the Sikh Federation of UK chairman Amrik Singh in a letter to each of the IOC members.
The New York Times today chimes in with its humorous headline, “Poll Finds Support for Paris Games in 2012 (Margin of Error, 100 Percent):”
On Sunday, French voters will participate in a referendum on whether to ratify a new European constitution. Polls indicate that they will reject the constitutional treaty, and Lamour said yesterday that the result would have no bearing on Paris’s Olympics bid. “A negative vote will not have any impact on our ability to organize the Games,” he said.
Opposition in France to the charter for the European Union seems based, to a large extent, on the fear of or the resistance to an expansion of Europe, and a potential loss of jobs. Such an opening up is precisely what the Olympic Games are: an opening up to the world. If a country is afraid to open up, how can it hold the Olympics?
“It’s a paradox,” Lamour said. “We want the Games, but we say no to Europe.”
Basically, French voters seem poised to reject the European constitution because they don’t want Muslims from Turkey to flood into their country and take their jobs. There would also be so many more people it would have to enforce headgear bans against.
Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan was not happy. Forbes reports:
Linking Turkey’s European Union membership bid to a referendum in France on the EU constitution this weekend is a ‘very ugly and wrong’ policy, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, as quoted by the Anatolia news agency.
‘We see here a situation where Turkey is used in (domestic) politics. This is very ugly and wrong. The vote is not about Turkey,’ Erdogan told Turkish journalists during a visit to Kazakhstan, Anatolia reported.
‘We are very upset and amazed that Turkey is frequently being made an issue of debate,’ he added.
However, Erdogan declined to comment on the widely predicted ‘no’ that French voters are expected to give to the EU constitution in the critical referendum Sunday.
Well, London and Moscow are in the running for 2012 as well.