Danish pizza cook charged with discrimination

  • 2003-05-01

Danish police charged a pizza vendor with discrimination for refusing to serve French and German customers since February due to their governments' opposition to the U.S.-led war on Iraq, Danish media reported.

Aage Bjerre, the owner of a pizzeria on the tourist island of Fanoe in western Denmark, faces a 5,000 kroner (673 euro) fine if found guilty, TV2 television said.

Bjerre told the Ritzau news agency April 23 he did not intend to pay the fine and would rather go to prison.

He had earlier told Danish media the French were "lazy" and "would be in quarantine forever." He said he would not serve Germans either as long as they were "disloyal to the Americans." Sixty percent of tourists on Fanoe are German.

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

"Other people can take them down, I won't," Bjerre said, adding that 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."

But many local residents on the picturesque island have protested against his boycott and his restaurant has been vandalized on a number of occasions.