DENMARK. FOREIGN MINISTER: NOT OPPOSED TO DEATH PENALTY BAN
February 1, 2007: The foreign minister denies reports that Denmark opposed an Italian initiative to ban capital punishment
The foreign minister, Per Stig MĂ¸ller, has reiterated the country's opposition to the death penalty, refuting a report that Denmark had blocked an Italian initiative for unified EU opposition to capital punishment.
The disputed information was published in the British newspaper The Independent. The article indicated that at last week's EU foreign ministers' meeting in Brussels, Denmark, Holland and Hungary had voted against the Italian proposal, supporting the British view that a ban would create difficulties for the United States.
'That information is completely false. At the meeting, Italy recommended that the matter be forwarded to the presidency with the informal assignment of investigating the possibilities to reopen the case within the UN framework,' MĂ¸ller told Danish daily Politiken.
'And there was backing for that proposal.'
Despite the Italian proposal for an EU bloc ban on capital punishment being shot down, MĂ¸ller said that Denmark would not waver in its support for a global ban and would continue to back Italian efforts for the cause.
In November, MĂ¸ller had publicly stated Denmark's opposition to the execution of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
'We do not support the death penalty, something we have made clear to the Iraqi government,' he said at the time.
The minister said Denmark's position on the matter has always been unambiguous.
'Denmark is among the most active opponents of the death penalty and supports all initiatives that can strengthen the fight against capital punishment.' (Sources: The Copenhagen Post, 01/02/2007)